WASHINGTON — The quality of syndicated credits took a step backward last year as underwriting of highly leveraged borrowers weakened, regulators said Thursday.

The 2013 Shared National Credits report said loans exceeding $20 million that are shared by at least three institutions had a higher incidence of regulatory criticism than in the 2012 review, snapping a three-year streak of improved credit quality in the SNC program, even though total volume continued to increase. Criticized assets rose more than 2% to $302 billion, while the proportion of such assets that were "criticized" was basically unchanged from last year.

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