Tipping Point? We Has It

Friday, August 14, 2009 , , , 2 Comments

Toxic Loans Topping 5% May Push 150 Banks to Point of No Return

More than 150 publicly traded U.S. lenders own nonperforming loans that equal 5 percent or more of their holdings, a level that former regulators say can wipe out a bank’s equity and threaten its survival.

The number of banks exceeding the threshold more than doubled in the year through June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as real estate and credit-card defaults surged. Almost 300 reported 3 percent or more of their loans were nonperforming, a term for commercial and consumer debt that has stopped collecting interest or will no longer be paid in full.

The biggest banks with nonperforming loans of at least 5 percent include Wisconsin’s Marshall & Ilsley Corp. and Georgia’s Synovus Financial Corp., according to Bloomberg data. Among those exceeding 10 percent, the biggest in the 50 U.S. states was Michigan’s Flagstar Bancorp. All said in second- quarter filings they’re “well-capitalized” by regulatory standards, which means they’re considered financially sound.

“At a 3 percent level, I’d be concerned that there’s some underlying issue, and if they’re at 5 percent, chances are regulators have them classified as being in unsafe and unsound condition,” said Walter Mix, former commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions, and now a managing director of consulting firm LECG in Los Angeles. He wasn’t commenting on any specific banks.

Missed payments by consumers, builders and small businesses pushed 72 lenders into failure this year, the most since 1992. More collapses may lie ahead as the recession causes increased defaults and swells the confidential U.S. list of “problem banks,” which stood at 305 in the first quarter.

Now that the FDIC is pretty much insolvent and the accounting rules have been stretched further than a pair of gold lame American Apparel leggings on a size 14 hipster, this might be a problem.

Just sayin.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Bill said...

Adrienne -
This may be helpful to some following banks

From CalculatedRisk.com
Friday, August 07, 2009
Problem Bank List (Unofficial)

I'm selling my home, and expect to write a big check to the lender just to get out of it. I'm thinking the bank should give me some props for forking over the cash, and preventing my mortgage from becoming yet another toxic asset!