Acquiring personal or merchant loans may not be easy moving forward. That’s according to a Federal Reserve study that suggests banks have tightened their lending rules.
Though Q2 saw banking institutions increase their reservoirs to cover against loan losses, many are also getting more cautions over the cash they disburse. The thorough inspection applies to both business and personal loans as lenders panic that applicants, plagued by an uncertain economy, will default debts.
In a bid to gauge how banks weigh the loan risks, the Fed Reserve studied over 75 banks in the United States, and another 22 foreign-based US branches. The questionnaires were distributed late in June and responses collected by July 2. The findings, therefore, reflect the banks’ practices in Q2.
But this may not sound like news to some as banks have always been stringent on business and industrial loans since 2005. However, the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy is causing fear and stricter underwriting procedures.
In the survey, banks indicated that they’ve also increased scrutiny for residential and consumer loans.
Firmer rules and increased scrutiny comes at a time when lenders are also recording lesser demand in several loan groups as borrowers proceed with caution and commercial activity stagnate.
Banks hastened to bump up their loan loss reservoirs in Q1 and Q2 to get ready for a phase of defaults amid reduced commercial activity and worker layoffs.
Though the banks hinted that the reserve increases had reached peak in 2019, most were still hanging on a thread.
Financial institutions have been working with clients amid a pandemic by allowing and stretching tolerance periods for different business and consumer loan categories. However, these extensions have only led to further uncertainties.
Though some borrowers were able to settle their debts, it’s isn’t known which clients relied on the supplemental unemployment benefits or other relief programs to make repayments.
These increased uncertainties have also taken a toll on bank stocks with many recording a dip in shares.
Businesses must now get creative when it comes to seeking commercial funding. While many traditional lenders will not offer you funding unless you have a solid credit history, various alternative lenders will still consider your loan request.
Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners get merchant loans. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating… But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard working business owners across the country.