Rising rates, dwindling loan demand threatens community banks

Despite showing signs of improvement, community banks in the southern region are facing added income pressure tied to reduced loan demand and low interest rates, with loan demand declining at 38% of the community banks in the nine southern states. The article appears in The Tennessean:

“(Nashville has seen) a pretty good recovery, but loan demand is still pretty weak,” said Kent Cleaver, president of Avenue Bank. “We have a high density of banks per capita here, so there is a lot of competition looking for the relatively few good credit opportunities in the marketplace.”

“Everybody and their brother is coming to Nashville from a banking standpoint,” said Jim Rieniets, CEO of InsBank. “You have all these banks opening up loan-production offices and you have money from all over the country thrown at Nashville. Too much money means low rates and loose credit. … We are definitely seeing pricing under pressure.”

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