Citizens Financial, Regions and SunTrust reported strong gains in consumer banking, including loans made through partnerships with retailers and fintech lenders. They want to keep it up to compensate for slack in commercial lending.
The commercial-and-industrial loan space is overheated, higher rates could stifle mortgage refinancings, and subprime auto delinquencies are on the rise. Bankers could be fighting these fires and more in the new year.
Amid shrinking yields, rising delinquencies and repeated warnings from regulators about frothy market conditions, several banks said on earnings calls that they plan to scale back or hold the line on indirect auto lending.
Citizens Financial posted significantly higher profits in the third quarter thanks to a one-time boost to fee income and growth in loans and deposits, though the gains were held down by increases in both expenses and provision for credit losses.
A Morgan Stanley unit was accused by Massachusetts officials of forcing its financial advisers into high-pressure sales contests to cross-sell so-called securities-based loans and other products to clients.
State student loan authorities sense a business opportunity helping graduates who are gainfully employed lower their payments. Their low-cost funding could put them in competition with banks and marketplace lenders.