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Funding of March 2020 C&I drawdowns discussed

An article, "How Did Banks Fund C&I Drawdowns at the Onset of the COVID-19 Crisis?" has been posted to the Federal Reserve Board's FEDS Notes pages discussing how banks funded C&I drawdowns at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Banks experienced significant balance sheet expansions in March 2020 due to unprecedented increases in commercial and industrial (C&I) loans and deposit funding. According to the Federal Reserve's H.8 data, "Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the U.S.", C&I loans increased by nearly $480 billion in March—the largest monthly increase in the history of this series, surpassing the nearly $90 billion increase in C&I loans in the six weeks following Lehman Brothers' collapse in 2008.

Commentary in banks' and firms' earnings calls, as well as write-in comments provided in weekly data submissions, indicate that this growth was primarily attributable to firms drawing down revolving lines of credit to make up for revenue and funding disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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