California banks reported a modest reduction in multifamily problems in the final quarter of 2009 over Q3 2009, but still reported nearly 80% more trouble overall than the same quarter in 2008. The final figures for the end of 2009 topped $1 Billion, up 80% from a year earlier. This figure includes multifamily loans that were reported as 30 days late, loans 90 days late, non-accrual, and multifamily REO.
Eleven banks in California reported multifamily loans that were 90 days late for a total of $87,686,000 in late loans, a more than 10-fold jump from the previous quarter. Most of this came from one bank, City National Bank in Los Angeles.
City National Bank has since amended their report having transferred a large portion of this debt to non-accrual status and at the same time booked in just under $30 Million in multifamily REO. The bank’s portfolio is struggling with a non-performing rate that tops 50%, an exceptionally high number. It’s important to note that City National Bank, with total assets topping $20 Billion is reporting more than adequate capital even while it deals with north of $600 Million in troubled real estate.
Only 27 California banks reported multifamily REO. First Regional Bank based in Los Angeles led the pack with more than $23 Million in multifamily REO and a portfolio with 21% of loans non-current. First Regional reported low capital ratios and was subsequently closed by the FDIC on January 29th, 2010.
East West Bank in Pasadena had the second highest REO figures in California, for the asset class, with $13.3 Million and more than $34 Million in troubled multi-family loans in the pipeline. East West reports healthy capital ratios.
While it is encouraging to see that some banks are starting to take their medicine, it’s plain to see from the numbers that many lenders are refusing to take serious action on their non-performing notes. While California banks reported $81 Million in MF REO, late and non-accrual loans total more than 10X that, or $925 Million.
As 2010 plays out, a lineup of additional banks are set to fail. Many of those that survive will still have to shed massive amounts of distressed real estate. As we can see from the most recent FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) offering (banks closed a year ago) there is a significant lag time in bringing the failed bank’s assets to market.