Oregon bankers say that loan demand by businesses is down by half because of uncertainty in the economy and fear of debt.
The bankers also say that many businesses don't qualify for loans under tougher lending standards necessitated by the financial crisis.
“We are making loans for business, but loan demand is down by half,” Ann Marie Mehlum, chairwoman of the Oregon Bankers Association and chief executive of Summit Bank of Eugene, told the interim House Business and Labor Committee. “There’s still so much uncertainty. Most businesses are not willing to take on the risk of more debt.”
The panel convened the hearing amid concerns about small businesses’ access to credit, hearing from bankers, state officials and business interests. In the aftermath of the recession — which technically ended in June 2009, according to a report earlier this week — banks adopted tougher lending standards and some have reduced lending volumes.
Read more at OregonLive.com.