Most banks are concerned with their credit portfolio. As credit risk increases, the following question comes up: is better to diversify by geography, by property type or by business type? This is to say that next year, do you focus your marketing dollars and pricing on particular counties, commuter zones, types of commercial real estate loans or certain C&I industries? The answers may not be so apparent and varies for each bank. In this article, we provide data and a framework for helping bank risk managers decide how to best deploy next year’s capital.
You can slice and dice your credit portfolio all you want, but if you are not paying attention to cross-correlations your efforts could be sub-optimal. For example, many banks separate their multifamily exposure away from their single family exposure. In some markets, these two subsectors are almost 80% correlated. A drop in housing prices usually occurs at the same time as a drop in multifamily values and in similar fashion delinquencies at banks usually move in lock-step.