BB&T's chief executive on Thursday warned his peers about the increasing risks being taken in commercial lending.
"We're killing each other," Kelly King said, describing shrinking returns and loosening credit standards throughout the industry.
His remarks came as part of a panel discussion that included chief executives from U.S. Bancorp and Deutsche Bank at the Clearing House's annual meeting in New York.
King described commercial lending as an area where regulatory pressure is relatively light and where standards have become too lax.
"We're right back to doing some of the crazy things we did before the recession," King said, noting that it is "incredible the amount of risk that's being taken in the lending space."
Intense price competition also adds to the problem, he said. "Because the economy is so slow, we're all just intensely competing for business. So structures are being loosened, and prices are being pushed down."
King urged bankers to think collectively when it comes to their commercial lines of business.
"As an industry without collusion, we do need to think about trying to protect ourselves," he said. "Nobody is forcing us to drive down prices except ourselves."