What the Yield Curve is Telling Bankers

Historically bankers used the Treasury, FHLB, or swap yield curve to discern the future path of interest rates. At the time of this writing, the three-month Treasury-Bill is yielding four basis points, the two-year note is 0.59%, and the 10-year note is yielding 1.33%. Historically, such a yield curve prognosticated minimal interest rate changes over…

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The Potential Value of Hedge Fee Income

Community banks have historically generated less non-interest or fee income than larger lenders.  One reason for this is the lack of analytics on how fee income translates to revenue and profitability.  While there are many ways that community banks can increase fee income, one specific source of non-interest income should be particularly appealing to community…

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Non-Farm Payroll Implications for Community Banks

As Mark Twain said, it is difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future.  However, there are a substantial number of concrete and high probability events that we think we can prognosticate about the next couple of years that will have significant impacts on community banking. The October payroll gains at 531k were the largest…

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Inflation and Managing Loan Duration

The graph below demonstrates loan repricing changes quarter-over-quarter from June 2020 to June 2021 for banks in three asset bands (under $1B, $1-3B, and over $25B).  The top three stacks of the bars show fixed-rate loans that reprice 3-5 years, 5-15 years, and over 15 years.  The bottom three stacks show floating and adjustable-rate loans. …

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Helping Borrowers Quantify Volatility Risk

In a recent article (Here), we discussed how lenders might help borrowers decide if and when to refinance debt and why lenders, as trusted advisors, should have a borrower’s best interests as their primary objective.  We also addressed how lenders should compare a borrower’s refinancing costs now versus waiting, and we shared an Excel model…

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The Impact of Last Week’s FOMC Meeting on Bank Lending

The Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, was clear last week that the central bank is highly likely to start reducing asset purchases in November and complete the process by mid-2022.  As shown in the dots plot, the FOMC members also expressed an inclination to raise interest rates next year (see graph below) – a shift…

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Can The Federal Reserve Afford to Raise Interest Rates?

The market is now pricing Fed Fund hikes beginning in 2022, and the proposed fiscal stimulus in the form of two separate infrastructure bills totaling $4.5T has created a new sense of optimism for FOMC members. However, the lingering concern that many bankers hold is can the country (US Department of the Treasury) afford to…

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What Floating Rate Loan Index Should Community Banks Adopt?

Recent regulatory messages have reinforced the importance for commercial banks to prepare for the end of LIBOR after 2021.  However, banks cannot wait until the end of 2021 to find replacement index(es)  because the transition from LIBOR requires changes to systems, vendors, training, and marketing that can take several quarters to finalize and implement.  To…

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Find Out Your Cost of Funds Correlation To Help Better Manage The Balance Sheet

Every year we analyze the industry’s cost of funding earning assets (COF) and track how community bank’s COF behaves relative to larger banks and how COF moves with various indices. The information is critical for all banks as it is helpful to understand how sensitive your balance sheet is to rising or falling rates. We…

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Preparing For Rising Rates in 2022

There appears to be some complacency regarding the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies in 2021 and 2022. The ten-year Treasury, around 1.35%, may be sending a short-term signal on liquidity versus a long-term prediction on inflation.  Community bankers need to factor in the high probability (50% to 75%) that tapering will start in 2021 and not…

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