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Inside Washington (06/13/2008)
* WASHINGTON (6/16/08)--More than half of national banks tightened commercial and retail lending standards for 2008, according to survey results released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Thursday. About 52% of banks tightened their commercial underwriting standards and 68% tightened their retail standards. Reasons cited for tightening standards include: the overall economic outlook, the downturn in residential real estate, a changing risk appetite and a decrease in market liquidity. Examiners reported that risk in both commercial and retail portfolios has increased over the past year and they expect portfolio risk to continue increasing over the coming year. Factors that contributed to the higher risk include a weakening economy, rising energy costs, turbulence in the secondary credit markets, the downturn in the housing market and anticipation of relaxed underwriting standards over the past few years ...


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