updated 2/17/2009 5:42:07 PM ET 2009-02-17T22:42:07

The government says the 20 largest banks that received government rescue funds slightly reduced their lending to consumers and businesses in the last three months of 2008.

The Treasury Department says the banks reduced their mortgage and business loans by about 1 percent each, while credit card lending rose by 2 percent. The department says lending likely would have fallen further without the roughly $200 billion that has been provided to banks so far, given the sharp downturn in the economy.

The data is from the first in what the department says will be a series of monthly reports on the banks' lending.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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