Finance officials should check the lending practices at banks to determine whether they have eased their stance on loans following the closure of their books in March, Vice Finance Minister Koji Tanami said April 20.

The ministry’s top bureaucrat told a regular news conference that he personally feels another survey is needed to evaluate lending practices in the wake of the year’s corporate book-closings. The ministry surveyed financial institutions and private sector companies in early March to gauge how tight lending had become. A majority of firms saw tighter loan practices at the nation’s 19 largest banks, the survey showed.

Tanami said since the last survey, 21 banks have received fresh capital with the help of about 2 trillion yen in public funds and it should be seen whether those funds helped encourage banks to ease their lending stance.

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