PR Banking Industry Report- January to September 2017

diciembre 27, 2017

The local banking industry’s profitability dove into negative territory in Q3 2017, posting a Pre-Tax ROE of -0.6%, after a modestly strong first half of the year. Most local banks, anticipating asset quality deterioration and loan losses in the aftermath of the historic 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, materially increased their loan loss provi-sions. Industry-wide credit provision expenses reached close to $300 million in Q3 2017, a roughly three-fold increase with respect to Q3 2016. Pre-hurricane asset quality had been showing improvement, but after Superstorms Irma and María, it is under threat given the adverse impact on economic activity, borrower’s financial standing, and labor market conditions. Since the hurricanes hit in the latter part of Q3 2017, the quarter’s cost to income ratio was not materially impacted. However, in Q4 2017, with the expected decrease in loan originations, missed loan payments, and subdued – Point of Sale – activity, income generating capacity will be restrained. On the upside, the exceedingly strong capital levels of local banks will help absorb potential post-disaster losses. This issue reviews the potential macro-impacts of the hyperactive 2017 hurricane season, as well as examines bank performance and financial condition in impacted areas post-Hurricane Katrina.

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