Follow the Money

By Hanis, Monique | Independent Banker, April 1998 | Go to article overview

Follow the Money


Hanis, Monique, Independent Banker


A look at the real competition community bankers face.

After reviewing perceptions about competition last month, I kept wondering where all the deposits and loans were going-really going. So, after much searching for data, Federal Reserve economist Al Teplin helped me sift through figures in the Fed's hefty Flow of Funds report. The results were surprising.

As it turns out, community bankers face mighty fierce competitors in lending and attracting deposits-and the ones at the top are not necessarily the ones we thought they were. As reported last month, community bankers ranked brokerage firms (68 percent), credit unions (67 percent), other community banks (63 percent) and mutual fund companies (55 percent) as their top competitors, in that order.

First let's take a look at loans. Table I shows loan balances for a range of financial services companies as of third quarter 1997-the most recent Fed data. Note that the top competitors for lending business are commercial banks (47.4 percent of loans); asset-backed securities issuers, those that collateralize and sell mortgage, business loans and credit card debt (12.0 percent); savings institutions (11.5 percent); finance companies (9.3 percent); and GSEs (8.2 percent). Credit unions, insurance companies, and brokerages are not big players.

Community bank figures are imbedded in the total for commercial banks. …

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