Today, the media is awash in stories of money center banks pulling back on lending to increase capital as a cushion against the bad loans on the books. Paul Merski, ICBA's chief economist and director of federal tax policy, says community banks, on the other hand, haven't needed to restrict credit -- for American businesses and households -- because they largely avoided subprime loans and other exotic lending that has undercut money center bank balance sheets. What community banks are able to do, though, varies from bank to bank and market to market, based on the severity of the downturn in their local economy. North Jersey Community Bank Chairman and CEO Frank Sorrentino III says 2008 has brought in a bumper crop of new loans and deposits. Across the country, in Washington state, Ken Parsons, chairman and CEO, Venture Bank, reports healthy loan growth for both commercial and consumer credit.
Amid a coast-to-coast megabank credit crunch, community banks remain resilient, well capitalized and ready to lend. By Kristine Newkirk 32 ICBA IndependentBanker 07|2008 C redit has always cycled; it’s often re
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