In the past couple of years, the level of bank lending has been down substantially. Did bankers tighten their lending standards? Did regulators spook the bankers? Or was there simply a lack of demand for loans? Last spring the accounting firm Grant Thornton surveyed bankers about this subject. Below is how those who worked for banks concentrating on small-business lendings rated possible causes of the crunch.


Cause of decline in lending

Very important

Somewhat important

Not important

Lack of borrowerdemand

50%

31.3%

18.7%

Shortage of lendingfunds

6.6

9.9

84.5

Lack of qualified borrowers

39.3

49.2

11.5

Uncertainty about economy

18

62.3

19.7

More stringent regulatory exams

50.3

33

16.8

Source: MCS Associates/Grant Thornton, Irvine, Calif., April 1992.