Bank Lending to Businesses is Up, but For How Long?

Yesterday, the Fiscal Times reported that bank profits are currently the highest they’ve been in six years. The healthcare factoring experts at The Factoring Blog included some of the article’s highlights below:

Bank loan balances rose $130.1 billion, or 1.8 percent, in the 2011 fourth quarter compared to third quarter, according to a quarterly report by the FDIC released on Tuesday.

Furthermore, credit to businesses, up $62.8 billion, or 4.9 percent, led the increase in lending totals.

While much of that went to large and medium-sized businesses, the FDIC said that for the first time in the seven quarters that the figures have been tracked, lending to small businesses, defined as loans of $1 million or less, went up. Such lending increased $2.8 billion, or 1 percent.The FDIC quarterly report showed the industry earned $26.3 billion in the fourth quarter, up $4.9 billion, or 23.1 percent, from a year earlier. However, the increase was largely due to banks setting aside less money to guard against loan losses.

The amount set aside for loan losses in the fourth quarter was $19.5 billion, down 40.1 percent from a year earlier.

Officials have warned that this trend cannot continue much longer.

Click here to read the entire article: Bank Profits Highest Since 2006.