1,227 banks examined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. during the six months that ended Sept. 30, the agency reported Tuesday.

In its semiannual report on underwriting practices, the FDIC said 4% of the banks have "high" risk, up from 3% during the six months that ended March 31. The majority, 67%, maintained "low" risk during both periods.

The generally positive report did cite some concerns. For instance, in agricultural lending 37% of the banks showed a "moderate" increase in the amount of carryover debt, up from 29% in the prior period. However, the FDIC expects the percentage to decrease because of a $5.5 billion aid package for farmers appropriated last month by the federal government. Examiners also noted that 3% of the banks had incurred "high" risk in underwriting new credit cards, up from 1% in the prior period. -- Katharine Fraser

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