Banks Tighten Loan Criteria Following Mass Withdrawals: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

After mass withdrawals in 2023, some small banks have enacted stricter loan criteria, and customers are looking for big returns.

A windowed wall with the word "bank" on it.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following the mass withdrawals from small banks in the spring of 2023, the future of smaller financial institutions was unclear. To help you understand what is going on in the 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...

Deposit outflows from small and midsize banks have stabilized. Depositors seem less concerned with losing uninsured money now that the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) has stepped in to insure all deposits at two banks: Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank. Instead, depositors want higher returns.

Via money market accounts and other fixed-income instruments, savers have access to beefy and low-risk rates of return well above the yield on bank-held deposits. Note that banks are seeking fewer cash infusions from the Federal Reserve. Borrowing from the central bank’s emergency facilities has stabilized recently, while short-term borrowing from the Fed has returned closer to normal levels.

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Still, there are many signs of rising anxiety about banking conditions among lenders. Recent surveys of senior loan officers show a sharp tightening of lending terms. The expectation of a slower economy and labor market has forced lenders to set aside funds for potential loan losses. Lenders will also pull back from riskier products and markets, restricting consumer credit.

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.