Banking is competitive. Luckily, community banks have a number of competitive advantages over national banks. However, if you ask the average banker, it doesn’t feel that way, particularly when it comes to loan pricing and community banks are forced to compete against 10-year, 3.90% fixed rate loans. Then again, many community bankers state that they cannot compete against the national banks because of higher cost of funding.
Tag: Loan Pricing
Chances are if you are like most banks you might price a 3, 5 or 10-year loan at the same spread. If it is a fixed rate loan, maybe you price it off the appropriate Treasury, swap or FHLB index, but that only takes into account interest rate risk. As can be seen in the accompanying graph, based off community bank loan historic performance, credit risk starts off very low the first couple years of a loan, only to ramp sharply up before it starts to plateau around year seven.
We just released the first version of our loan pricing calculator and it is now available for free to financial institutions. If you say your bank is all about service, then you need your lenders to have this model because allows your lenders to move the conversation away from the price on the loan to what structure best matches your client’s profile. The calculator produces a matrix of prices for different amortizations and maturities and takes into account interest rate and a large part of liquidity risk.
Listen, some bankers fear making loans below a 4% margin like I fear Florida sinkholes. To put that in context, I wear an avalanche transceiver whenever I am in the State. This makes bank meetings a little awkward, but gives me a fighting chance to be found when I get swallowed up. By the State’s own website, they refer to sinkholes as a “fact of life” which is why Florida is the only state where banks have to consult the “Sinkhole Clearinghouse” database before making a loan.
Many banks wait until the last possible period before renewing a loan. Waiting often invites competition, as other banks with loans out to that customer know exactly when other bank’s loans mature (hopefully you are capturing this information as well). To beat this problem, banks are smart to lock in renewals in advanced in order to minimize competition. Not only is a renewing loan likely a better credit risk (you have a payment history for starters), but banks can garner a larger spread making the risk-adjusted return more profitable.