Magazine article American Banker

Banks Wary of Syndicated Loan Performance, Fed Says

Magazine article American Banker

Banks Wary of Syndicated Loan Performance, Fed Says

Article excerpt

Byline: John Heltman

WASHINGTON -- Lenders are concerned about the performance of syndicated leveraged commercial and industrial loans in 2015, a Fed survey said Monday, underlining regulators' worries that such loans may be a source of systemic risk.

In its regular survey of senior bank loan officers, the Fed said 22% of bank respondents and 27% of officers representing large banks said they expect the quality of existing syndicated leveraged C&I loans to deteriorate somewhat over the course of the year.

Far more respondents -- 72% of all banks and 73% of large banks -- indicated that they expect those loans' performance to be unchanged. But the proportion of respondents who saw trouble for syndicated leveraged C&I loans was substantially higher than most other loan categories. By contrast, most banks surveyed took a neutral view of the performance of nonleveraged syndicated C&I loans and as many institutions said their performance would improve as those who said they would decline.

The only category included in the survey that reported lower performance expectations by lenders were subprime auto loans, which nearly 30% of respondents said would deteriorate this year.

"Banks stated that they generally anticipated improvements in the performance of most loan types this year," the report said. "However, [some] banks indicated that they expected the credit performance of syndicated leveraged loans to deteriorate this year, and about one-third of the banks that originate subprime auto loans expected delinquency and charge-off rates to increase in 2015. …

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