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In case you haven't heard, there was plenty of lending going on in 2011

By Dian Vujovich

Listen to all the negative campaigning that’s going on this election year and it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that the state of business in the US is beyond horrible. Too bad that’s not actually the case.

Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a short list of some of the lending that happened last year, according to The Financial Roundtable’s Fast Facts: 2011 LENDING REPORT:

•”Fact: Lending has returned to pre-crisis levels of nearly $7 trillion, according to data from the Federal Reserve. U.S. commercial banks had extended $6.944 trillion of loans as of November 2011, which is $187 billion above November 2007 levels.

•FACT: Business lending grew by 8% during 2011. Commercial banks had $1.34 trillion in loans extended to businesses of all sizes at the close of 2011, which is $100 billion more than the end of 2010, according to FDIC data.

•FACT: Small business borrowing hit a four-year high in November 2011, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. The index was up 18% from November 2010.

The Roundtable’s 2011 Small Business Report shows that $600 billion in small business loans were extended in 2011, and the largest banks pledged $100 billion more over the next three years.

•FACT: Consumer credit surged by the most in a decade in November 2011. “In the biggest gain since November 2001, credit jumped to $2.48 trillion, indicating that households are gaining the confidence to take on debt and banks are more willing to lend,” Bloomberg reported.

•FACT: The credit quality of loans on banks’ books has significantly improved. Data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve shows the ratio of nonperforming commercial loans to commercial loans has decreased by 54% from the height of the crisis in July 2009 to 2011.

During 2009, for every 1 performing commercial loan on a bank’s books, there were an average of 3.5 nonperforming ones. Now, the ratio of performing loans to nonperforming ones is 1 to 1.

•FACT: As of the third quarter of 2011, the amount of noncurrent loans (90 days or more past due) had fallen for six consecutive quarters, according to the FDIC Quarterly Banking report.”

How’s that for some business lending upticks.

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