Banks have strong start to 2022, WBA report shows

Banks in the state have “started the year 2022 strong” despite concerns about rising inflation, according to the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

Total assets at Wisconsin banks increased about 5 percent over the 12-month period ending March 31 to exceed $143 billion, the latest WBA release shows. At the same time, total deposits rose about 7 percent over the year to reach over $118 billion. 

The group also points to a roughly 21 percent decline in noncurrent loans and leases over the year as evidence that customers are in a good financial position. WBA notes credit quality “continues to improve” as more borrowers are keeping up with payments. 

Still, the release shows that supply chain challenges and worker shortages “continue to inhibit business growth and cause hesitancy among business owners to take out loans.” Commercial and industrial loans declined about 14 percent over the year to just under $16 billion at the end of March. 

Meanwhile, residential lending slowed slightly as the state’s housing market “remained a hot seller’s market,” the release shows. Residential loans declined 0.22 percent over the year. 

“Wisconsin’s banking industry stands poised to meet the banking needs of Wisconsinites in 2022 as government pandemic relief funding phases out,” WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels said in a statement. “Bankers will be keeping a close eye on global supply chain and geopolitical issues as well as the Fed’s rising interest rates going into the rest of the year.”

See the release: