Regional banks increase lending as big firms pull back

Loans at JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo dropped 4.9% in the first quarter compared with Q1 of 2010, according to a Bloomberg analysis. In contrast lending by 17 of the smallest banks in the KBW Bank Index rose 9.8%. Analysts say the largest banks are curbing lending in response to capital requirements, creating an opportunity for regional banks to pick up business. Read more