WASHINGTON -- Businesses of all sizes are actively seeking more loans and banks are easing the terms and conditions to qualify for credit, the Federal Reserve said.

The Fed's latest survey of senior loan officers at 57 domestic banks and 24 branches of foreign-owned ones found banks also were more willing to lend to individuals and some were cutting standards for home mortgage loans in the face of lessening demand.

But banks reported that consumer credit demand has leveled off since its last survey in late August, the Fed said, though borrowing remains at a strong level.

The Fed said more banks were easing their lending terms to businesses in November than was the case in August.

"Demand for business credit has continued to grow, according to the November reports, with responses suggesting a more widespread pickup than in the last survey," the Federal Reserve reported.

But the picture was different on the consumer side.

Demand for consumer credit was essentially flat since August, but presumably remains at a high level.

"Demand for home mortgages weakened further since the August survey," the Fed summary said.

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