A Decade On, Pre-Crisis Mortgages Linger For Big Banks, Homeowners

www.oann.com | 2/10/2012 | Staff
Zorra (Posted by) Level 4
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A decade on big U.S. banks are still running down and selling off crisis-era mortgages, a process executives point to as weighing on loan growth.

Eager to see a turning point in loan books, analysts count these portfolios as one factor, along with home equity loan runoff and new mortgage demand, to watch for when deciphering the true loan growth picture as U.S. second-quarter bank earnings start on Friday.

Wells - Fargo - Co - Bank - America

Wells Fargo & Co and Bank of America Corp executives have flagged portfolios from prior to the 2008-2009 crisis era where banks are no longer originating similar new products when they are asked to predict a turning point in consumer loans.

“These are portfolios of a bygone era that were very, very painful for the banks,” said Gerard Cassidy, bank analyst with RBC Capital Markets. “They are not plain vanilla portfolios, which means they are more costly to manage. It may just not be worth the headache.”

Analysts - Loan - Growth - Bank - Stock

Analysts have said higher loan growth is critical to driving bank’s stock prices, but they anticipate only a modest acceleration year over year, driven primarily by commercial and industrial loans, not residential.

“Remember that there’s a portion of that book that, again, is pre-crisis,” Chief Executive Tim Sloan said about Wells Fargo’s mortgage book at a May conference. He added the bank continues to examine the older portfolio’s risk-return tradeoff and sells assets when the opportunity arises, factors “that could have some impact” on growth.

Wells - Fargo - Loans - Wachovia - Bank

Wells Fargo owns around $23 billion of “Pick-A-Pay loans it picked up by buying the floundering Wachovia bank at the height of the mortgage crisis, versus $115 billion 10 years ago. Those loans allowed borrowers to initially choose their monthly mortgage payment, even if it was not enough to reduce the debt.

Bank of America at the end of 2017 had nearly...
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