In the next twelve months, the transition from LIBOR to alternative Risk-free Rates (SOFR in the US) will take an important course. Banks with products tied to LIBOR need to understand the implications of ISDA Fallback Protocol and how to manage possible risks with this critical industry transition. Shortly, ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) will be publishing LIBOR Fallback Protocol. Firms that sign up for the LIBOR Fallback Protocol agree to the spread adjustment and the fallback rates if LIBOR becomes unavailable in the future.
We have written numerous blogs about why banks should reconsider the risk-for-yield business model when it comes to credit or interest rate risk. The return on equity (ROE) in risk-for-yield businesses is low, and the business outcomes during downturns are adverse. Instead, banks should construct an advisory business where taking risk may be just one element in delivering a customer-centric solution.
In our last blog, we reviewed ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) strategies deployed by various central banks. We discussed how ZIRP strategies had been deemed by many economists to be ineffective over the long-term to stimulate economic growth and stoke inflation. We considered forecasts by economists, the forward interest rate market, and FOMC policy member’s future rate path expectations - all point to a low probability of decreasing interest rates. However, one loud voice has been a champion of lowering rates to zero or even negative – the President of the United States.
Last week (HERE) we looked at how deposit account tiering is used, some of the objectives that banks might employ and the effectiveness of tiering in total. As discussed last week, many banks tier without objective, without data, and without supportive marketing thus rendering the methodology worthless and possibly hurtful.
We are working with numerous community bankers to develop strategies for instituting floors on commercial loans. The idea of protecting floating or adjustable rate assets is not new to community bankers, but the current interest in this concept is spurred by specific and unusual communications and market developments that are worth analyzing.
Because of tradition, we tier our deposit accounts according to size. For a typical bank, their money market accounts often have six tiers ranging from $2,000 up to $100,000. The question that always comes up is - do you have the right tiers and the right number of tiers? Are you using your tiers to drive profit giving low rates or are your tiers just serving to confuse your customer and drive up operational cost?
On October 30, 2019, the FOMC decided to lower the target range for the Fed Funds rate to 1.5% to 1.75%. The decision was not unanimous, and two members voted not to lower the target range. In the FOMC statement and at the post-meeting news conference, the committee’s communication was clear in that the future path of Fed Fund rate will be data-dependent, and the indication is that the “mid-cycle adjustment” is done. The key takeaway is that rates may move up or rates may move down in the future depending on economic developments. The question for many bankers and borrowers is how to v
Community banks face intense competition from different institutions and various industries. There is currently a market phenomenon that is creating an unusually challenging environment for community banks that compete for real estate financing. This phenomenon is creating an advantage for some lenders in the amount of seven to 42bps, and community banks must be aware of this aberration if they want to win more quality borrowers.
Bankers should consider the shape of the yield curve when structuring and pricing loans to maximize return and reduce risk. The shape of the yield curve can also help lenders understand borrowers’ needs and better position the bank against competitors.
Every year we analyze the historical cost of funding earning assets (COF) for all banks in the country. We perform this analysis on every bank from 1990 to the present to understand the drivers of COF, how banks can improve performance by controlling their COF and how funding costs will behave in the future.