BUSINESS
03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Credit Cards, Other Debt Are New Worry For Banks

U.S. regulators said they are watching credit cards and commercial construction loans for signs they may be the next trouble spots as strained financial markets constrain credit.

The housing downturn, with its epicenter in the subprime mortgage market, remained atop the list of concerns. But banking regulators and Federal Reserve officials expressed concerns that credit risks may extend beyond mortgages.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures would likely rise and more house price declines could be expected.

"This situation calls for a vigorous response," Bernanke said in a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America in Orlando, referring to government and private-sector initiatives to slow the rate of home loan failures.

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