Monday, January 30, 2012

Analysts call loan growth a 'bright spot' for large regional banks

Loan growth in the fourth quarter was a "bright spot" at large regional banks like Wells Fargo and BB&T, analysts with Keefe, Bruyette and Woods said in a research note published today.

The 15 large regional banks under their coverage grew loans an average of 3 percent from the year before, and 2 percent from the quarter before, KBW said. Of the regional banks, 11 posted year-over-year loan growth, and 13 had quarterly loan growth.

Out of all 130 banks KBW follows, banks posted an average loan growth of 1 percent, with 55 percent having year-over-year growth and 64 with quarterly growth.

Analysts have called loan growth a key metric to determining whether the economic recovery is gaining traction.