Evidence of a Credit Crunch? Results from the 2010 Survey of First District Community Banks

Public Policy Brief No. 10-3
by Jihye Jeon, Judit Montoriol-Garriga, Robert K. Triest, and J. Christina Wang

This policy brief summarizes the findings of the Survey of Community Banks conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in May 2010. This survey seeks to understand how the supply of, and demand for, bank business loans changed in the period following the financial crisis. The survey design focuses on assessing how much community banks were willing and able to lend to local businesses that used to be customers of large banks but lost access to credit in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The survey responses provide some evidence that lending standards for commercial loans have tightened moderately at community banks since late 2008, with the tightening being more severe for new customers than for those that already had a relationship with the respondent bank. The survey also reveals that expansions of several SBA guarantee programs since the crisis have ameliorated possible credit constraints on small businesses.

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