Banks Get Break They Needed on Loan Workouts
Banks and credit unions are eager to take advantage of newfound flexibility for restructuring loans battered by the coronavirus outbreak. Federal regulators and the Financial Accounting Standards board gave lenders a helping hand Sunday, agreeing that short-term loan modifications tied to the pandemic do not have to immediately count as troubled-debt restructurings. Normally, any concession made to a borrower would trigger classification as a TDR. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, restructured loans at banks topped $140 billion at the end of 2011. Clearly, regulators are hoping to head off a similar surge due to the coronavirus outbreak. The issue had also gained the attention of some lawmakers. Many banks, including Howard, the $4.4 billion-asset Camden National in Maine, and the $6.7 billion-asset Tompkins Financial in Ithaca, N.Y., started approving temporary deferments and other loan modifications for hard-pressed clients well in advance of Sunday's statement.