The stalled economic recovery has made it much harder for banks lend but the financial condition of smaller institutions looks to be strengthening, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today in a banking conference in Arlington, Virginia.

Bernanke reaffirmed his stance on policy and the economy. He stated that the zero interest rate is pushing the recovery even though the recovery is still frustratingly slow. Bernanke did also acknowledge that some bankers have complained that low interest rates have hurt interest margins.