Banker To Banker

The economic consequences of Covid-19 have altered average credit quality and created a flat and shallow yield curve.  Community banks are working diligently to support their local communities and survive in these challenging times.  One tool that many community banks have utilized in this business environment is a loan-level hedging product.

PPP Forgiveness Processing

There is no surprise that you can only do so much when it comes to educating PPP borrowers. We have produced a comprehensive website, executed a detailed email campaign, conducted a series of webinars, produced videos, have a Getting Started Guide, and distributed a checklist - still, borrowers remain deficient in completing their application accurately. In this article, we explain this educational black hole, provide the latest data, and detail not only what it means for banks looking to process applications more efficiently but ways to solve the problem.

The Impact of the Election on Credit

It is around this time before a presidential election that bankers start to ponder how the results of the election will affect credit, interest rates, and the general business environment.  The stock and the acceptable answer is that presidents get too much credit when the economy does well and too much blame when it slumps. The complex and intertwined US capitalist economy goes through boom-and-bust cycles independent of any president’s actions.

Bank Strategic Planning

If you are like 90% if banks out there, chances are your strategic planning process is not all that effective. Chances are your strategic planning process is a good budgeting exercise, but a poor driver of strategy. It likely your current strategic plan contains something about growth, geographical expansion, and digital transformation. You could exchange plans with another bank, and neither sets of shareholders would know the difference.

Protecting Net Interest Margins

Bank margins plummeted in the second quarter of this year as banks struggled to find lending opportunities outside of the low-yielding PPP loans. The banking industry net interest margin (NIM) dropped 42 basis points in Q2/20 from 3.16% to 2.74% - the largest percentage drop in history.

Improving the PPP Forgiveness Process

Without approving the HEALS or HERO Acts, Congress gave little reason for banks to delay their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness program. As such, many banks, like ourselves, launched on the 10th. With a couple of weeks of testing and processing, we thought it might be helpful to give an update that can hopefully inform your process. So far, 12,000 PPP Forgiveness applications have been submitted by 1,000 lenders (out of the 5,500 who participated).

The Pandemic's Impact on Credit RIsk

Community banks face a new and unfamiliar underwriting risk – an epidemiological disruption that has limited visibility and short history that affects both free cash flow and collateral values.  In addition to debt yield, debt service coverage ratio, and property values, banks now need to understand how all of these credit parameters are going to change because of Covid-19.

Live Chat and Chatbots in Banking

It is not a question of “if” it is only a question of “when” you will start deploying chat and chat automation at your bank. It should be on your radar screen for several reasons, the first of which is that it will soon be the fastest growing and the most preferred communication channel among your customers. That trend got a boost when Apple announced last week the production release of its Business Chat product.

The State of Commercial Lending

We sent out a survey to several thousand community bankers across the country to understand bankers’ concerns, challenges, and opportunities in the current business environment.  We feel that organizing an exchange of ideas and sharing of strategies is beneficial to many bankers. We also offered resources (videos, white papers, policies, marketing material, online proposal generators, and calculators) to help bankers obtain information based on their specific survey responses.  The survey only took five minutes and consisted of five questions.

Main Street Lending Profitability

What is with all the waving we do at the end of Zoom calls? Should we start waving as we back out of the room for in-person meetings in the future? By the same token, many banks are baffled by what to do with the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), as this is not something we would do in normal times. Yet, we found ourselves both participating and waiving at the end of those MSLP Zoom calls. No matter if your bank is going to participate in MSLP or not, understanding the risk involved is a master class in loan structuring and credit.

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