June 11, 2012 / 3:15 AM / 6 years ago

GE weighs cuts to lending unit: report

General Electric (GE) Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt delivers the opening remarks before a panel discussion hosted by GE on "The Future of Manufacturing: Growing American Competitiveness" at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric (GE.N) is considering breaking off large parts of its lending business amid investor concerns that the conglomerate has become one of the largest banks in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Although GE has made strides to cut down its GE Capital division by selling assets and allowing its loan portfolio to shrink, top executives are now looking at going further, the WSJ said.

Moves could include selling businesses in GE Capital’s consumer-finance portfolio, such as private-label credit cards or showroom financing for products such as snowblowers or lawn mowers, the report said.

Such cuts could reduce GE Capital’s loan portfolio by as much as 16 percent, the report said.

No decisions have been made, and such moves would have to wait until market conditions are more attractive, the report said, citing three unidentified people familiar with the company’s thinking.

A spokesman for GE was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Nadia Damouni; Editing by Dale Hudson

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