Loan volume began to pull out of a long decline in the second quarter 2011 (see circled area). Lending last grew in late 2008 as borrowers drew on credit lines during the height of the financial crisis. Loans then began dropping sharply, with the exception of an artificial spike in the first quarter of 2010 that resulted from an accounting change. Meanwhile, balance sheets had been filling with securities and cash. The latter was the by-product of the Federal Reserve's emergency lending and quantitative easing programs
. Data is for domestically chartered commercial banks.