DEFINITION of 'Bank Lending Survey'

A questionnaire circulated by a country's central banking authority to help clarify their understanding of the overall lending environment. Typical bank lending surveys include questions about the number of loans made, the interest rates on loans, demand for new loans, default rates, differences between commercial and retail lending, and information on a bank's existing loan and financial portfolios. Surveys are typically circulated quarterly, but may be circulated more or less frequently depending on a central bank's role in regulating lending and the overall state of the economy.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bank Lending Survey'

In the United States, the Federal Reserve circulates its primary bank lending survey quarterly, with the results being used to help shape the Federal Reserve's overall monetary policy. Participating banks typically have two weeks from the receipt of a survey to complete and return. Summaries of the questions and answers can be viewed online at the Federal Reserve's official website.

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