The popular picture of bankers has them hunkered down in their vaults, still smarting from the Great Recession, weighed down by a raft of regulations.
In fact, U.S. banks are lending more than ever, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday.
“Lending rose to an all-time high, with total lending reaching more than $9 trillion in the third quarter,” said James Chessen, chief economist of the American Bankers Association.
Most Palm Beach County banks have indeed reached record levels of loans. For the nine banks headquartered in Palm Beach County plus Seacoast National Bank of Stuart, loans as of Sept. 30 totaled $3.96 billion, up from $2.05 billion in 2012, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of FDIC data.
One exception: Anchor Commercial Bank of Juno Beach. Its $72.9 million in loans as of Sept. 30, 2016, is below its loan level of $84.2 million as of Sept. 30, 2007.
Another is Mackinac Savings Bank of Boynton Beach. Its $71.5 million in loans this year were below the 2007 mark of $75.6 million.
In general, big banks have been able to lend more while small banks and credit unions face a larger burden from new regulations and capital requirements, says economist Mike Moebs of Moebs Services in Lake Forest, Illinois.
“Community banks and credit unions have been forced to adjust priorities,” Moebs says.