During the last ten years of economic expansion, prudent bankers were planning for the next downturn. Everyone knew that the economic expansion would end, but no one could be sure when or how. Smart bankers managed their business by accepting that all expansions do eventually reverse. None of us can predict the future, but enterprising bankers were conducting business to craft better results for their banks by understanding that an economic pivot would come.
While it is too soon to get the data on bank commercial real estate (CRE) portfolio delinquencies and forbearances, we take our benchmarks from the commercial mortgage-backed securities market as of May 14th. As any commercial banker can tell you, hospitality and retail remain under the most pressure, jumping up more than 5x and 3x, respectively. Office delinquencies are up 71%, month-over-month, industrial properties remain relatively unchanged while Other (self-storage, specialty, etc.) is up 3.5x.
Last Friday night, the SBA released the long-awaited Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application, and while it clarified some aspects of the program, its complexity also surprised many bankers. In the SBA’s defense, it is hard to strike the right balance of speed to market, simplicity, and breadth of idea inclusion, so overall, we must give the SBA high marks for this effort. Despite those marks, we have identified 15 areas where banks will need to focus on providing further education, process, or technology to make the process as efficient as possible.
In past articles, we discussed a proposed Coronavirus stress test under CCAR (HERE) and provided our COVID-19 probabilities of default and loss given defaults for a model bank portfolio (HERE). In this article, we update our CRE modeling and take a deeper dive into loan-level analysis in order to help banks triage and manage both individual credits and their portfolio-level reserves.
As you wind down and clean up Round 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and before you produce your 1502 report to the SBA, it now merits thinking about how to best set up for the wave of forgiveness work that starts immediately after funding. Obtaining forgiveness is critical to both the bank and the borrower as it increases profitability, enhances cash flow, aids in liquidity and removes the risk for both parties. Unlike the origination process, banks now of the luxury of some time to get this process right.
In these challenging times, both bankers and bank customers are stressed and exhausted. Typical schedules are disrupted, work environments are upended, and business models are challenged. Because this pandemic shock has brought us into new territory, there has never been a better time in modern banking history than now to enhance your value as a banker. This environment is precisely when good bankers differentiate their service and outperform their competition to win new business, and further solidify existing relationships.
While we discussed our framework for deciding WHEN to call bank employees back to the branch lobbies and workplace (HERE), in this article, we cover HOW. The two decisions are interrelated since the sooner you look to reopen, the more risk you take, and the more resources you have to invest in a reopening plan.
The rate that the Federal Reserve pays on bank deposits, called the Interest on Excess Reserve Rate (IOER), is currently at ten basis points and will be the subject of an interesting discussion at the upcoming Fed Open Market Committee Meeting this week. At the end of last week, the Fed Funds effective rate was four basis points which could be a problem.
If we are going to “reopen America,” it helps to have a quantitative approach to make sure we are making the right decision. Since we are dealing with people’s lives and livelihood, this will be the most critical decision that most of us will ever have to make in their entire professional careers. Everyone wants to get America back to normalcy and recall our employees back to the workplace, but the debate is over when.