Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Commercial Loan Growth Slows at N.J. Banks

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Commercial Loan Growth Slows at N.J. Banks

Article excerpt

Loan growth at New Jersey-based commercial banks slowed in the most recent quarter, after rising at a double-digit pace in the previous period, according to new statistics from the New Jersey Bankers Association.

The bankers' quarterly statistical analysis showed that for commercial banks based in the state, loans grew at an annualized pace of 8.2 percent in the third quarter, down from 13.5 percent in the second quarter.

"Overall, 2014 was a good year for commercial loan growth," said John McWeeney, president of the New Jersey Bankers Association. "Demand for commercial loans improved, but toward the end of the year it slowed a little bit," he said. The decline is likely because of some cooling off in what had been a "red-hot" market for loans backed by multifamily housing, he said. "The rate of growth slowed, but it's still positive," McWeeney said.

Bank lending has been rising nationwide as the economy slowly improves and some banks are easing credit standards, according to federal regulators.

Commercial lending picked up last year in time to offset a decline in mortgage refinancings, as most homeowners who could benefit from recasting a loan at today's low rates have already done so.

For New Jersey-based thrifts, which include savings banks and savings and loan associations that focus more on residential mortgages than business loans, the third-quarter loan total declined by an annualized 1. …

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