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Bloomberg: Loan-to-Deposit Ratios Hit 5-Year Low at Top Banks

February 21, 2013, 07:29 AM
Filed Under: Banking News

Bloomberg reported the biggest U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are lending the smallest portion of their deposits in five years.

The reports cites data compiled by Credit Suisse Group AG which shows the average loan-to-deposit ratio for the top eight commercial banks fell to 84% in the fourth quarter from 87% a year earlier and 101% in 2007. Lending as a proportion of deposits dropped at five of the banks and was unchanged at two, the data show.

According to the report, consumers and companies are reluctant to take on risk until they see more signs that business is improving, despite the fact that the Federal Reserve maintains near-record low interest rates designed to fuel growth.  Additionally, the report states bankers are also holding back as regulators and investors pressure them to curtail risks that fueled the 2008 global credit crisis.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, had the lowest year-end ratio in the group at 61%, down from 66% in 2011. Citigroup’s ratio fell to 70% from 76% last year and Bank of America Corp. slid to 84% from 92% the previous year, a five-year low at both firms. SunTrust Banks Inc. decreased to 94% from 96%.

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