Just a few years ago, banks in industrial states made ill-fated bets on piping hot markets in Florida and Nevada in search of growth. Now, they are finding it in their own gritty backyards.
Banks like Fifth Third Bancorp, M&T Bank Corp. and Huntington Bancshares Inc. are among a number of banks this quarter to show marked improvement in commercial lending as manufacturing companies in industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania show signs of growth. Once-sluggish heavy industry is leading the slow rebuilding of troubled loan books.
Lending growth remains tentative. Banks throughout the industry are having difficulty growing their loan portfolios, which is dragging down revenue. KBW analysts said large banks reported that loans were down 6% on average.
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