Daily News: March 18, 2015

SNL: Bank Portfolio Managers Apprehensive About Yields

SNL Financial reported that falling long-term interest rates in 2014 left many bank portfolio managers apprehensive about investing at such low yields.

SNL said banks closed 2014 with their bond portfolios in the black but rather than harvesting those gains, many banks opted to keep their powder dry than put money to work in the market ahead of an expected change in the rate cycle.

SNL notes that long-term rates fell considerably in 2014, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury ending the year at 2.17%, down 35 basis points from the end of the third quarter of 2014 and down 87 basis points from the close of 2013. With rates back near historical lows, some banks said on their fourth-quarter earnings calls that they were approaching the current investment environment with caution.

According to SNL, Fifth Third Bancorp CFO Tayfun Tuzun, for instance, said on his company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that it invested excess liquidity cautiously in the fourth quarter and did not reinvest all of its cash flows from the investment portfolio given the low rate environment.

To view the full SNL report, click here.