There are many reasons why some customers are more debt-averse than others. Research has shown that millennials are particularly reluctant to take on debt and are also teaching their kids, Gen Z, to avoid borrowing. However, lenders need to understand how to position their loan products and provide advice for when taking a loan makes good sense for the customer.
Much has been written about the merits of community banks developing banking expertise around specific verticals. We recently worked with a bank that won the banking mandate for a family-run funeral home. At first we were surprised that the term loan was 93% LTV. But when we looked at the entire underwriting package and the borrower’s financials (showing 3.2X DSCR) we recognized the importance of understanding industry specifics and how the funeral industry might be a perfect fit for many community banks.
The Merits of Specializing
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
Today LIBOR is linked to over $250 Trillion (that is with a “T”) in financial instruments and has been used as a reference rate for more than 30 years. However, regulators, for various reasons, are driving a shift to an alternative reference rate. In 2017, ARRC (Alternative Reference Rate Committee) identified the alternative reference rate in the US as SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate). Most community banks use LIBOR sparingly in their loan and deposit contracts. However, if a community bank has even one LIBOR contract, the issue of fallback language becomes essential.
Many industry analysts are increasingly gloomy on the banking industry, trimming expectations for net interest margin, interest income, and total profits. With long-term interest rates declining within a whisker of the lowest level in history, many analysts are reducing their forecast of banking profits by up to 10% through 2020 or 2021. However, we would like to share a current proven strategy for community banks to make the best of the current interest rate environment, lock-in their best clients, increase cross-sell opportunities, and actually increase margins.
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.
Many community bankers are now considering how to position their asset and liability portfolios for declining interest rates. On the one hand, interest rates should be falling more, and on the other hand interest rates are being talked down against a backdrop of still strong economic data.
No doubt, you hear all about how your competitors are winning deals because they are more aggressive when it comes to underwriting. While banks must always ask if they are taking the right risks and the right amount of risk, it is probably the competitors that you are not watching that is causing you the greatest risk. In this short article, we explore one often overlooked aspect of competitor surveillance and how this one technique can help protect your bank.
Whenever your bank is looking at underwriting commercial real estate (CRE), you are probably looking at a variety of macro factors such as rent and occupancy trends, absorption, and capitalization rates. However, since we see hundreds of underwriting packages a month from a variety of banks across the country, it is rare that we see banks, and even borrowers, adjust rents for new construction. In this article, we present our methodology, data, and adjustment factors that banks can use to have more accurate underwriting.
Commercial lenders should be aware of the important factors that drive customer behavior to borrow funds. Our clients borrow from us when they refinance debt, or purchase equipment, real estate, or finance working capital. However, there are three key elements that make debt especially appealing for borrowers. Commercial lenders that understand these three elements can better position themselves for success.
The Three Key Elements to Borrower