Data suggests that many banks binged on home equity loans last year and began tightening standards only in the second half — after housing prices had already staged a dramatic retreat.

Among the top 200 banks ranked by home equity holdings, 110 posted double-digit increases in their lines of credit and closed-end loans last year, according to data from SNL Financial in Charlottesville, Va. Home equity portfolios shrank at just 29 of these banks.

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