Underwriting standards have been tightening across a range of lending lines at banks industrywide all year long, and in many cases this began well before the start of 2008.

It is a process that clearly is not yet complete. Interviews with executives at banks of varying sizes, geographies, and business concentrations indicate that reduced risk tolerance seems far from an inflection point. In areas like commercial real estate, borrowers are being required to put up more of their own cash. And selectivity is the order of the day.

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