Ben Bernanke has said that the overly stringent lending requirements of banks are hurting the US housing recovery. In a speech, he said the housing market showed signs of recovery but was "far from being out of the woods".
The Federal Reserve chairman said "the pendulum has swung too far" from the easy lending days of the housing boom. While mortgage interest rates have fallen to record lows, he said many borrowers, especially minorities and low earners, could not get a loan.
Mr Bernanke was addressing a summit in Atlanta held by Operation Hope, a charity that provides financial advice to American citizens on middle and low incomes.