Tuesday, February 12, 2013

South is only region small bank lending shrank

Community banks increased their business lending across the country in the fourth quarter -- except in the South.

While consumer and commercial lending at banks smaller than $10 billion in assets grew 0.78 percent nationally, the Southeast experienced a 0.31 percent decline, according to an analysis by SNL Financial.

The South was the only region to contract, as construction and agricultural loans were down sharply. New England had the largest expansion, at 1.66 percent, primarily in home construction.