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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fed's Kohn: Expect more Bank Loan Losses

by Calculated Risk on 6/05/2008 10:54:00 AM

Fed Vice Chairman Donald L. Kohn testified today: Condition of the banking system. A short excerpt:

Consistent with trends in commercial banks overall, conditions at state member banks have weakened over the past year. Problems in residential mortgage, home equity, and loans to home builders have pushed the nonperforming assets ratio at these banks to 1.57 percent, more than twice the level of one year ago and the highest rate since 1993. Loan loss provisions have also accelerated, rising to a high of 1.14 percent of average loans during the first quarter of 2008 in large part reflecting the deterioration in residential real estate-related loan portfolios.
Over the coming months, we expect banking institutions to continue to face deteriorating loan quality. House prices are still declining sharply in many localities and losses related to residential real estate--including loans to builders and developers--are bound to increase further. In addition, weak economic conditions could well extend problems to other segments of lending portfolios including consumer installment or credit card loans, as well as corporate loan portfolios. Moreover, banking organizations must be prepared for the possibility that liquidity conditions become tighter if uncertainties in the capital markets fail to subside or if credit conditions deteriorate significantly. Accordingly, we anticipate that the number of banks with less than satisfactory supervisory ratings will continue to increase from the relatively low levels that have existed in recent years and we are monitoring developments at all supervised institutions closely.
emphasis added
This is why the FDIC is gearing up for many more bank failures.