The Problem with Floating and Adjustable Rate Loans

A typical current strategy for community banks when originating commercial real estate loans is to offer floating-rate loans or shorter-term adjustable structures.  Borrowers are waiting for the Fed to lower short-term interest rates, hopefully translating into a refinancing opportunity for the borrower at a lower loan rate.  Unfortunately, this strategy has all the underpinnings of…

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How to Lock a Forward Rate on a Loan

A forward rate lock allows lenders to deliver a known loan rate on future borrower financing.  This strategy is used for various reasons discussed further in this article.  Recently, larger lenders, including Bank of America, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo, have announced that they are seeing an elevated appetite for forward rate locks on…

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Loan Hedging for Community Banks in 2024

Community banks’ use of swaps (banks’ primary tool to hedge interest rate risk on loans) has increased substantially over the last ten years. The market expects the current inverted yield curve to remain through much of 2024 (based on long-term interest rates and the expected rate cuts in 2024).  Meanwhile, community banks face net interest…

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Bank Impact of “Higher For Longer” Interest Rate Environment

On September 20, 2023, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left its benchmark rate unchanged, but it would be a mistake to conclude that the committee did not send a strong message about the projected path of future interest rates.  The FOMC revised its view on future projected interest rates – rates will be “higher…

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Community Bank Performance – 2Q Lessons

On September 7, 2023, the FDIC released its banking profile.  This quarterly publication provides a comprehensive financial results summary for all FDIC-insured institutions (4,645 commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the FDIC).  While banks under $10B in assets comprise 97.8% of all banks by number, those same banks comprise only 14% of all banking…

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Derivatives Usage By Community Banks

Our previous article discussed how the banking industry is taking advantage of interest rate swaps to offer borrowers lower rates, allowing banks to earn higher yields, generate substantial fee income, and protect deposit relationships.  Of the largest 250 banks, 90% are using interest rate swaps, and because these largest 250 banks hold 83% of all…

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How Large Banks Are Using Interest Rate Swaps

With an inverted yield curve, borrowers have a pricing advantage to lock in long-term fixed-rate loans, while lenders strongly desire to limit loan duration.  One possible solution to this dichotomy is for banks to offer interest rate swaps to hedge individual loans.  This article will review domestic banks’ adoption of interest rate swaps.  Next week’s…

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Loan Structuring with an Inverted Yield Curve

The yield curve is currently inverted, and the FOMC may take a pause at its next meeting in June.  Uncertainty about the evolution of the economy and the path of future interest rates and the unusual inverted yield curve shape affords a prime opportunity for bankers to provide sound, trusted advice to clients.  This is…

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How National Banks Are Poaching Loans and Deposits

Last week we spoke to a $1.2B community bank management team. The CLO was lamenting how he was losing quality loans and deposits to three aggressive national banks in the territory. An example was a $1.95mm owner-occupied CRE loan, where the borrower had multiple operating accounts totaling almost $500k. While this community bank is not…

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FTP – Another Bank Failure and Another Learning Opportunity

Last week, we published an article [here] discussing how fair value accounting for assets and liabilities may have prevented the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, even if sound risk mitigation practices were not resolutely embraced by management.  We argued that valuing assets at historical value or measuring net interest margin (NIM) is not only a…

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Fair Value Accounting and Silicon Valley Bank Failure

Analysts, regulators, legislators, and bankers have been attributing the root cause of SVB’s failure in the past month.  Some blame the dilution of the Dodd-Frank provisions, others the lack of oversight by regulators, and others still blame social media for exacerbating the deposit run.  The root cause of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) failure is poor…

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Non-Maturity Deposits – A New Machined Learned Framework For ALM

Banking has now arrived at a speed that it cannot handle. While there have always been problems in banks’ asset-liability models (ALM) and liquidity stress test models, the current environment exacerbates this problem. Recent bank failures hurting public perceptions, the current market trends of higher rates, Quantitative Tightening, digital banking, social media, and a flight…

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