Preliminary Q3 bank checkup: Better, but symptoms persist

Chris Whalen says it looks like banks were no more stressed in the third quarter than in Q2. But they are by no means relaxed yet.
Since only the 19 Stress Text banks were really under pressure to window dress Q3 results for compliance purposes with the Fed’s SCAP stress tests, the inference we draw is that the rate of change in terms of stress throughout the industry was likewise more moderate in Q3.
Nov 6, 2009 8:10 AM

Why bank losses are with us for at least two more years

Assume for a second that comparing the current banking climate to that of the Great Depression is a useful exercise. Then look at the first chart linked here and begin to worry again about banks chargeoffs and capital levels, which look like they'll be elevated until at least 2013.
Oct 27, 2009 8:16 AM

Another banking bailout coming?

This time, smaller banks who were deemed too weak to get TARP cash — remember how that program was first pitched as 'good money for good banks' — may be given government capital. One potentially critical catch: They may have to raise private money to match the federal funds.
Sep 28, 2009 6:39 AM

Making the case for Synovus

Hedge fund manager Tom Brown says the parent of The Bank of Nashville is just his kind of stock, especially after the recent capital raise.
But the company’s outlook isn’t nearly as bleak as the market seems to think. In the runup to an equity offering last week (about more of which in a minute) the company made it pretty clear that it’s in the process of getting its credit issues under control, and that its underlying profitability is strong. In particular Synovus says that its ongoing program of aggressive problem loan disposition is on track, and that the run-rate on new non-performers continues to improve. Meanwhile, pre-tax, pre-credit cost earnings continue to rise.
Shares of Synovus (Ticker: SNV) have traded either side of $4 for most of the past two months.
Sep 23, 2009 7:13 AM

Bank of Nashville parent to raise capital

Synovus Financial Group, the parent of The Bank of Nashville since 2002, plans to raise $500 million by selling stock, exchanging some of its debt and other moves. The company booked a big first-half loss after booking $920 million in loan loss provisions. The news of the capital plan was announced after hours, which resulted in Synovus shares (Ticker: SNV) giving back all the gains from a strong trading day Monday.
Sep 15, 2009 7:08 AM

So just how bad will things get for Nashville's banks?

Wednesday’s Pinnacle Financial earnings conference call ended on a chilling note when Stephens Inc. analyst Matt Olney asked CEO Terry Turner to compare his bank’s bad-loan levels with those of competitors in Nashville. “My belief is that our credit quality is better,” Turner said. “Other operators in this market have been taking significant losses over an extended period of time… We’re later getting to the table.” That’s pretty strong stuff when you consider that Pinnacle’s nonperforming asset ratio ballooned to 3.3 percent in the first half and is quite a bit higher than most Nashville-area banks’. (Generally, bankers start to get nervous when their NPAs approach 2 percent. For the parent of GreenBank, the number now stands at almost 5 percent.) But if Turner’s right, it means many of his Middle Tennessee peers — who were much more aggressive than Pinnacle in pursuing land development deals during the boom — still aren’t owning up to many of their credit problems. And Turner isn’t upbeat about the region’s real estate sector. Asked what he’s hearing from the trenches, he was blunt. "In the case of real estate, the sentiment would be awful. You wouldn't find any optimism among builders, among developers, among folks that loan to them,” he said. “There’s some activity, but you couldn’t translate that into optimism." Banks around the country that relied on lending to homebuilders are now gasping for air. And, while we don’t really want to admit it, parts of Greater Nashville look a good bit like parts of Greater Atlanta, where a fistful of banks have gone under this year. Given a little more time, why should our situation be all that different? Without getting too dramatic, it’s time to start preparing for the first Middle Tennessee bank failure of this crisis. One Friday afternoon soon, the friendly folks at the FDIC will unveil their first Tennessee intervention, adding to a 2009 list that now stands at 57. And oh, by the way, in case you had the thought: Don’t look for Pinnacle to be a buyer when that happens. Turner on Wednesday told analysts his team is “not particularly interested in FDIC workouts.” That’s not terrible surprising, since he also said most of his crew's current credit quality troubles stem from the acquisitions of Cavalry Banking and Mid-America Bancshares.
Jul 23, 2009 6:47 AM

Turner: Pinnacle 'above-average' TARP payback candidate

Talking to Bloomberg News, Pinnacle Financial CEO Terry Turner says his company will look to soon rid itself of the scarlet letter that TARP has become.
Banks that keep TARP funds will be viewed as troubled because they will face more onerous regulations and be unable to hire highly paid executives because of government limits on compensation, Turner said. “The risks are significant as Congress, the Treasury and regulators continue to roll out more constraints,” Turner said.
Shares of Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) are bucking the overall market today, trading up almost 2 percent. UPDATE 6 p.m.: Pinnacle has wrapped up its stock offering.
Jun 16, 2009 12:52 PM

SunTrust trims stock buyback

The No. 3 bank in Nashville (Ticker: STI) is buying back 'only' $750 million of preferred shares, down from the $1 billion it said was looking to repurchase earlier this month.
Jun 15, 2009 12:51 PM

TARP is a money maker

So far and with the country's biggest lenders, anyway. But as many of the folks commenting on Gary Townsend's latest piece point out, there are many other fish in the money-losing financial sea.
Jun 12, 2009 6:31 AM

Another 9 mill for Pinnacle

The bank holding company (Ticker: PNFP) and its underwriters have added more than 1.1 million shares to their offering.
Jun 12, 2009 1:30 AM