April 17 - The American Bankers Association has released the results of its annual Mutual Bank Survey. The survey indicates mutual institutions remain a strong and viable part of the industry.
“Mutuals make up more than 8 percent of all bank types and constitute 12 percent of ABA’s membership,” said Robert Davis, ABA executive vice president. “ABA vigorously supports the preservation of the mutual form of ownership and its culture.”
Most of the 175 respondents, 75 percent with assets less than $500 million, expect sustainable and improving business line activity during the next three years. Ninety-three percent expect commercial loan activity to increase or stay the same, 89 percent anticipate consumer loans to increase or stay the same, and 83 percent expect residential mortgages to increase or stay the same.
In addition, 88 percent expect residential real estate foreclosures to decline or stay the same, 94 percent expect commercial real estate foreclosures to decline or stay the same, and 93 percent expect consumer delinquencies to decline or stay the same.
Sixty-two percent considered merger options in 2012, up 4 percent from last year, but most said a merger is not likely in the next three to five years.
While 90 percent of mutual banks say they differentiate themselves from their competitors based on their mutuality, many of them express the same concerns as other community banks. Fifty-four percent say Basel III and maintaining adequate capital growth are a real concern. Fifty-seven percent of mutual banks say they will manage growth in an attempt to maintain adequate capital. Most emphasized the challenges posed by increasing regulatory burden.
Only 66 percent of respondents felt their regulator understood the concept of mutuality.
With a deep tradition of consumer-oriented community banking, the mutual charter has existed since the early 1800s. As of Jan. 1, there were 581 mutual, community-based institutions, including 145 mutual holding companies, holding more than $253 billion in assets.
Click here for the 2013 ABA Mutual Bank Survey.