Should You Be Marking Loans To Market?

Available-for-sale securities are reported at fair value, and any unrealized gains and losses are included in accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) in the equity section of the balance sheet.  The AOCI is an accounting adjustment meant to reflect the economic value of assets and is the process of “marking loans to market.”  That same adjustment…

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Post Fed – A Lending Tactic For The Yield Curve Inversion

This week the FOMC increased the Fed Funds rate by 75 bps, as expected to the 3.75% to 4.00% target range. The Effective Fed Funds rate jumped up and should stabilize at 3.83%, as did the 1-month term SOFR, to 3.79%.  The futures market now expects close to average odds of a 75bps increase in…

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Higher Rates – Faster for Longer

In the last 12 months, the Federal Reserve went from arguing that inflation was a transitory phenomenon to raising interest rates to fight runaway inflation by three percent in just six months.  The result is not only higher rates but the most severe interest rate hiking cycle in the past 35 years –  and it…

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How To Talk To Commercial Borrowers About The Future Path of Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has raised short-term interest rates by 3.00% in the six months between March and September.  The market is now forecasting an additional 1.25% in hikes by year’s end, with the next move coming on November 3rd.  Many borrowers and market participants have been surprised by the speed of…

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The Terminal Fed Funds Rate – How Far Will The Fed Go?

Last week the Federal Reserve again raised the Fed Funds rate by another 75 basis points – and again, that was in line with the market’s expectation. The question is when will the Fed stop, and what will be the terminal Fed Funds rate? We do not believe that the Fed’s “dot plot” fully reflects…

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Fixed Rate Loan Risk – Rethinking The 5-Year Offering

For decades community banks have taken on fixed rate loan risk mostly through the offering of five-year, fixed-rate, commercial term loans. This is probably the most popular structure for real estate-secured term credit at community banks. Now may be the right time for community banks to abandon this strategy – both for the borrowers who…

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The Growing Concern With Your Cost of Funds

The banking industry’s cost of funds (COF) is highly correlated to short-term interest rates.  However, as of Q2/22, the average community bank’s COF has risen only a few basis points.  Community banks should be concerned about their COF because looking at current deposit conditions is like driving a car while looking at the rearview mirror….

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How to Best Use Volatility Instruments In Banking – Part II

Last week we discussed how lenders might use swaps, caps, floors, and collars to help borrowers manage borrowing costs.  We outlined how the market values swaps and volatility instruments (like caps and floors), and we reviewed the fundamental reasons for how and why these hedging instruments are applied to commercial loans.  In this article, we…

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Using Swaps, Caps, Floors, and Collars in Lending – Part I

The Federal Reserve is rapidly changing the interest rate environment to fight inflation.  The Fed’s actions are forcing lenders and borrowers to consider ways to protect cash flow, credit, liquidity, and interest rate risks.  Many borrowers ask lenders how they can use swaps, caps, floors, and collars to protect their businesses and lower borrowing costs. …

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Deposit Behavior In This Rate Cycle – Part III

In two recent articles, we reviewed the banking industry’s deposit behavior with regard to cost of funding earning assets (COF) (HERE), and we compared how community banks’ COF behaves relative to national banks in a rising interest rate cycle (HERE).  We demonstrated that the average community bank’s COF is highly correlated to short-term interest rates…

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Forecasting Cost of Funds Given Fed Moves

Based on the futures market, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the Fed Funds rate to 3.00% at its December 2022 meeting. The Fed will also aggressively shrink its balance sheet to tame unwanted inflation. These two Fed moves, along with the economic environment and customer behavior will impact your forecasting of your cost…

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Easily Avoid This Loan Pricing Mistake

The FOMC’s recent hawkish pivot and indications of multiple rate hikes in 2022 have created market volatility and an increase in longer-term interest rates. In a period of rapid change (or high volatility), we see about 50% of banks fall into a common trap of mispricing their commercial credits.  This loan pricing mistake does not…

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