Banks are Loaning, Not Leasing

bank loans

2013 brought about a dramatic increase in the amount of money loaned out by major banks, especially compared to the shriveled numbers we saw during the recession. Investors are regaining confidence in the overall, and specifically Atlanta, market and once again sinking money into new projects. Many believe that a lot of CRE portfolios are beginning to stabilize, and many banking executives have noted a more diversified demand than before the recession.

While banks are lending more now than they have in the immediate past, they are tightening their belts elsewhere. Most major banks have made an effort to reduce their overhead costs, namely by decreasing their physical footprints. SunTrust, for example, has reduced their footprint by 958 branches since October 2012, and their overall building square footage shrank by 4% last year. Similarly, Citigroup execs have stated that they “still have facilities that are just larger than [they] currently need based upon how [they] have been able to reduce headcount.” Headcount reduction is another way banks are trying to reduce overhead costs; SunTrust dismissed 25,472 employees from October 2012 to September 2013.

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