Fixing Loan Selection Bias In Banking

At this point in the business cycle, we believe that community banks should migrate to higher credit quality loans.  However, in response to our last few blogs, some community bankers told us they have few opportunities to originate loans at 1.75X debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) and sub 60% loan-to-value (LTV).   We believe that the…

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Managing Stagflation Credit Risk in Banking – Part III

We established that stagflation (defined as high inflation and likely accompanied by higher interest rates and stagnant or no growth) could be toxic for real estate projects.  Few bankers working today have any experience with how destructive stagflation can be since this environment last occurred in the 1970s.

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The Data on Better Credit Diversification

Most banks are concerned with their credit portfolio. As credit risk increases with rising rates, the following question arises – is it better to diversify by geography, property type, or business type? Do you focus your marketing dollars and pricing on particular counties, commuter zones, types of commercial real estate loans, or specific C&I industries?…

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Rethinking The Adjustable Rate Loan Structure

Community banks have structured fixed-rate loans for many years with an adjustable repricing feature where a loan is fixed for a number of years and then resets based on a stated spread and an index. However, adjustable term loans have several drawbacks for banks, especially in a rising interest rate environment.  One of the most…

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Managing Loan to Value with Rising Rates

If your bank is like most of its peers, your credit policy permits loan to value (LTV) ratios somewhere between 65% and 85% depending on the category, business cycle, and other forms of support.  In today’s competitive lending market, many banks are pushing boundaries, and loan to values are creeping higher.  We argue that banks…

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Why Fixed Rate Loans Are Essential For Bank Performance

Competition for quality commercial loans is intense, and currently, the majority of borrowers favor fixed-rate loans for as long as possible.  We cannot blame borrowers for wanting to lock in financing costs at historically low index rates and low credit margins.  After all, the real economic carrying cost for these loans after tax and after…

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Optimizing The Credit Review Process

Once a loan is booked, it needs to be reviewed over time for changes in credit. The problem is that many banks have only one type of commercial loan review.  This standard review usually requires approximately eight hours of work from credit, loan administration, and management. When this effort is combined with data expense, the…

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Here is a Better Way To Stress Test Borrower Financials

Every community bank has a set of financial statement reports and ratio analyses to assess underwriting and credit risk.  The advent of credit spreading software such as CreditQuest has made this job very easy.   However, few banks take the extra step of modifying their reports and analysis based on the current economic cycle and market…

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Use This Trick To Better Diversify Your Loan Portfolio

You can slice and dice your credit portfolio all you want, but if you are not paying attention to cross-correlations, your efforts could be sub-optimal. For example, many banks separate their multifamily exposure away from their single-family exposure. In some markets, these two subsectors are almost 80% correlated. A drop in housing prices usually occurs…

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Why Your Loan Terms Could Be Hurting Your Bank

The average commercial loan term for amortizing credit facilities at community banks is between four and five years. Banks need to understand the optimal loan term for amortizing credits to maximize profit and minimize risk. We analyzed the average community bank’s preferred loan term based on risk (probability of default, loss given default, and expected…

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