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CRE Lending: Growing Profitably in the Current Environment

In the current lending environment, many financial institutions are looking to commercial real estate to drive growth in their portfolios. As a result, competition to win deals is intense. It is critical, however, for banks growing their CRE portfolios to satisfy regulators’ concerns over risk management of those loans. Best practices related to origination, lending strategy and portfolio management can ensure profitable CRE portfolio growth and satisfy regulators that institutions are lending responsibly.

Commercial real estate is the largest lending category for U.S. banks, and the category has experienced tremendous growth — especially since the financial crisis. “Since the trough in CRE lending in mid-2012, CRE loans outstanding have increased to $3.6 trillion and now represent 19.8 percent of national GDP,” according to researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. And over the past 20 years, the share of CRE loans in the portfolios of midsize and small banks has roughly doubled, the researchers said.

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