The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is urging national banks to go easy on borrowers hit by floods in the Pacific Northwest.

The Comptroller's Office encourages banks to consider extending the terms of loan repayments, restructuring borrowers' debt obligations, and easing loan documentation or credit-extension terms for new loans to certain borrowers.

The agency says its examiners won't criticize "prudent efforts" to adjust loan repayment terms or extend new loans to borrowers affected by a natural disaster.

The floods, which began Sunday, left thousands homeless in Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. It closed interstate highways, destroyed tens of thousands of acres of farm crops, and damaged thousands of businesses along the Columbia, Willamette and Yellowstone rivers. President Clinton, who has declared many of these communities disaster areas, plans to visit the region this week.

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