WASHINGTON — For the first time in more than three months, traditional lending through the Federal Reserve Board's discount window reached new highs, jumping 23.4%, to $23.455 billion on Wednesday.
Much of that boost occurred in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's district, which is home to several struggling regional banks. Lending in the Cleveland district totaled $3.35 billion on Wednesday after making no loans a week earlier.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's district includes Washington Mutual Inc., the target of speculation over a possible acquisition or government assistance, but lending in that region grew just 2.9%, to $4.035 billion.
Despite concern over the health of the industry, the Fed said it did not make any loans to weak institutions in the form of secondary credit. The Fed does not reveal which institutions borrow from the discount window.
Total lending through the discount window was $23.556 billion on Wednesday, including $101 million of loans distributed to banks in rural or resort regions. There were no loans made to investment banks.
The majority of the loans — $15.017 billion — are long term and will mature between 16 and 90 days. The remaining $8.539 billion will come due within 15 days.