The Wall Street Journal reported that big banks are starting to relax their lending criteria, creating a new opening for borrowing that could strengthen an improving economic outlook.

The Journal noted that U.S. banks are slowly starting to increase their appetite for risk, saying that the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said banks relaxed the criteria for businesses and consumers to obtain credit during the 18 months leading up to June 30, 2013.

However, the Journal added, the easing carries risks, including a return to certain underwriting standards that led to the crisis.

To read the full Wall Street Journal article click here.