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Banks Loosen Their Grip On Lending

A new report shows signs that restrictions on business loans are finally starting to ease.

After years of tight lending standards, it's finally becoming easier to get a business loan. 

According to the The Wall Street Journal, a new report by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that banks in the U.S. and Europe have relaxed the criteria for businesses to get lines of credit and loosened their lending standards throughout 2013.

According to the comptroller's survey, more banks have loosened standards for business and consumer loans compared to those that tightened standards. The survey also found loan growth increased 3 percent since 2012.

During the 2008 financial crisis, regulators urged banks to hold their capital and decrease risk. Banks tightened standards for all types of loans and loan growth in the U.S. came to a standstill.

The banks' increased "appetite for risk," WSJ reports, is due to a "rosier economic picture." The World Bank is predicting a global economic growth rate of around 3.2 percent in 2014. 

Lori Chillingworth, executive vice president of small business at the Utah-based lender Zions Bancorp, told WSJ that small-business lending increased around 10 percent in 2013.

Last updated: Jan 31, 2014

WILL YAKOWICZ | Staff Writer | Reporter,

Will Yakowicz is a staff writer for Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and local politics for The Brooklyn Paper and was the editor of Park Slope Patch. He has also reported on the West Bank and Moscow for Tablet Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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