Less junk mail: the upside of the credit crunch

  • Share
  • Read Later

Grisly news today from the Federal Reserve’s July survey of senior bank loan officers. Loan-writing standards are tighter across the board, but especially for prime mortgages (74% of banks reported tighter standards, compared to 62% in the April survey), and credit card loans (67% of banks reported tighter standards, compared to 32% in the April survey).

The good news about how this plays out comes from the market research firm Synovate, which had a press release of its own today. During the second quarter, the number of credit-card offers received by U.S. households were down 17% from the same period a year ago. That’s only 1.06 billion pieces of junk mail, compared to the 1.27 billion we saw last year. HSBC, which used to really like subprime customers, cut back the most, down 54%. Citibank’s volume was down 45%—to its lowest point in more than 10 years.