Banks Lost Billions on Bad Loans Last Quarter: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

Bank deposits are also down, and more people are tapping into their savings.

To help you understand what is going on in the banking and the financial sector and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

Loan losses are rising again at banks after reaching historically low levels. Lenders reported $19 billion in charge-offs — losses on loans that lenders deem unrecoverable — in the second quarter, the highest level in more than three years.

More than half of recent losses came from credit card lending, but CRE (commercial real estate) has also experienced a worrying rise in borrower defaults. Borrowers with variable-rate loans are now saddled with higher repayments, and landlords are struggling to rent out space in office buildings due to remote work

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There are still several sources of strain on the U.S. financial sector. Funding costs and declining income weakened profitability in the second quarter. Banks have lost deposits for the past five quarters, as more folks tap into their savings. Banks are still using the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs. Loans from these Fed facilities have stayed above $100 billion since the first week of June, though borrowing has stabilized since a string of bank failures this spring.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Rodrigo Sermeño
, The Kiplinger Letter

Rodrigo Sermeño covers the financial services, housing, small business, and cryptocurrency industries for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in 2014, he worked for several think tanks and non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., including the New America Foundation, the Streit Council, and the Arca Foundation. Rodrigo graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in international affairs. He also holds a master's in public policy from George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.