Large financial institutions loosened credit to some types of borrowers in the last three months, including hedge funds and private equity firms, a new Federal Reserve survey indicates.

The Fed's first ever Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey suggested, however, that sentiment toward the battered market for asset-backed securities -- bonds backed by collateral such as housing, auto loans or credit card debt -- has not improved.

The findings suggested no major change in the views of senior credit officers, the Fed said.