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Some 86% of Banks Have not Relaxed Mortgage Lending Standards

Some 86% of Banks Have not Relaxed Mortgage Lending Standards

Despite reports of banks relaxing requirements for getting a mortgage, some 86 percent of banks that originate residential mortgages have either not changed or tightened their lending standards, according to a national annual survey conducted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Some 11 percent of banks said they had eased standards, up from 10 percent in 2012.  Eleven percent said that they have tightened them up. Home equity loans also saw tighter standards.

The survey which concluded in June 30, 2013 and covered the previous 18 months, did not reflect changes in standards over in the past seven months.  Ellie Mae reported median FICO scores for purchase and refi loan fell from 742 in June to 727 in December and median loan to value ratios rose from 80 to 82 percent.

The OCC found banks were relaxing underwriting for both commercial and other retail products at a faster pace than residential mortgages.  Large banks as a group reported the highest share of eased standards.

Seventy-eight or 91 percent of the surveyed banks originated residential real estate loans and 76 percent reported their residential lending standards were unchanged.  Eleven percent said their standards had eased, while 13 percent said they had tightened requirements compared to 25 percent in the previous survey and 40 percent in 2011.


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