Lending drops at big U.S. banks – WSJ

Jan 26 (Reuters) – Lending at many of the largest U.S. banks fell in recent months, the Wall Street Journal said, citing an analysis of banks that recently announced their quarterly results.

Ten of the 13 big beneficiaries of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), saw their outstanding loan balances decline by a total of about $46 billion, or 1.4 percent, between the third and fourth quarters of 2008, according to the paper.

Those 13 banks have collected the lion’s share of the roughly $200 billion the government has doled out since TARP was launched last October to stabilize financial institutions, the paper said.

Banks reporting declines in outstanding loans range from Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc, each of which got $45 billion from the government, to smaller, regional institutions, according to the paper.

Just three of the banks reported growth in their loan portfolios, U.S. Bancorp, SunTrust Banks Inc and BB&T Corp, the paper said.

The loan figures in the analysis exclude some big TARP recipients that have not reported fourth-quarter results yet, such as Wells Fargo & Co, the paper said.

The overall loans on the 13 banks’ books declined from about $3.36 trillion as of Sept 30 to $3.31 trillion at year’s end, the paper said. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Sharon Lindores)

Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:00pm GMT

Source: Reuters

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