Friday, October 03, 2008

Farm-country banks hold steady in credit crisis

The credit crisis has seen banks around the country tighten lending practices, but this has not been the case for "rural banks in U.S. farm country," reports Carey Gillam of Reuters, who writes that such banks "are not freezing credit to customers like large money center banks, offering a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economy."

Rural communities that rely on agriculture have not felt the pinch from the failure of some of Wall Street's biggest banks. "Despite a cascading that has locked up loans for businesses and consumers around the country, small community banks in rural areas generally continue to hold interest rates steady, lines of credit open and are offering new loans," Gilliam reports.

Mark Lair, president of the family-owned Bank of Commerce in the southeastern Kansas town of Chanute, told Gillam, "There aren't any alarms going off here. Our loans are of very good quality today and our farmers are in good condition. There is not an economic Armageddon here." (Read more)

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