Lending Is Back to Pre-Crisis Levels, Fed Data Show

Published February 12, 2012

Fast Facts from the Financial Services Roundtable

FACT:  Lending has returned to pre-crisis levels of nearly $7 trillion, according to data from the Federal Reserve. U.S. commercial banks had extended $6.944 trillion of loans as of November 2011, which is $187 billion above November 2007 levels.

FACT:  Business lending grew by 8 percent during 2011. Commercial banks had $1.34 trillion in loans extended to businesses of all sizes at the end of 2011, which is $100 billion more than at the end of 2010, according to FDIC data.

FACT:  Small business borrowing hit a four-year high in November 2011, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index.  The index was up 18 percent from November 2010.

  • The Roundtable’s 2011 Small Business Report shows $600 billion in small business loans were extended in 2011, and the largest banks pledged $100 billion more over the next three years.

FACT:  Consumer credit surged by the most in a decade at the close of 2011. Credit jumped to $2.48 trillion in November 2011. The advance was almost twice as big as the highest forecast of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

FACT:  The credit quality of loans on banks’ books has significantly improved. Data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve show the ratio of nonperforming commercial loans to all commercial loans has decreased by 54 percent from the height of the crisis in July 2009 to 2011.

  • During 2009, for every one performing commercial loan on a bank’s books, there was an average of 3.5 nonperforming ones.  Now, the ratio of performing loans to nonperforming ones is one to one.

FACT:  As of the third quarter of 2011, the number of noncurrent loans (90 days or more past due) had fallen for six consecutive quarters, according to the FDIC Quarterly Banking report.

The Financial Services Roundtable is made up of representatives from the securities, investment, insurance, and banking industries.