Banks still not relaxing lending standards

Even as the economy continues to improve and consumers generally tend to have better borrowing histories than they did a year or two ago, most of the credit card and other lenders across the country have not eased their credit standards.

Just 16 percent of large banks and 9.3 percent of banks overall recently told the Federal Reserve Board that they had cut their credit card lending standards “somewhat” during the second quarter of the year, according to the Fed’s latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices. None of the officers at the 43 responding banks said their lending standards had “eased considerably.” Further, 90.7 percent of large banks and 84 percent overall indicated their credit card lending standards had remained unchanged during that time.

In addition, 80.6 percent of banks said the credit limits on new accounts have remained the same, while 11.1 percent reported that they’d tightened them somewhat, the report said. In addition, 8.3 percent also said they’d relaxed their limits.

Many consumers are now making greater efforts to handle their credit card accounts responsibly, which typically includes less spending and more on-time bill payments.