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Loan growth at 15 largest US banks outpaces industry again in Q1

Loans grew by 4.8% quarter over quarter at the 15 largest U.S. banks and thrifts by total loans and leases in the first quarter, compared to 4.2% for the wider industry. On a year-over-year basis, the group's 12.0% loan growth also handily outpaced that industry's 8.0% gain.

Among the 15 largest U.S. banks, 13 reported an increase in commercial-and-industrial loans during the first quarter. For the four largest banks, each with more than $1 trillion in assets, JPMorgan Chase & Co. led the pack with 30.2% quarterly growth, followed by Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup Inc. at 19.5%, 16.5% and 16.3%, respectively.

Outstanding business loans spiked across the industry in the first quarter as corporate borrowers utilized credit lines to amass liquidity ahead of the expected recession. But bankers have recently reported that the line draws have stabilized. In fact, weekly data from the Federal Reserve suggests that the second quarter has seen smaller banks grow their C&I loans at a stronger clip than the large banks.

Meanwhile, closed-end, one- to four-family loans for the group of 15 grew 0.3% during the first quarter, led by Capital One Financial Corp.'s 7.3% increase. Capital One was also the only company among the 15 to report a quarter-over-quarter increase in home equity loans.

Aggregate consumer loans for the group fell 5.2% in the first quarter, compared to a decline of 3.6% for the industry. JPMorgan's consumer loan balance fell 7.3% in the quarter.

Five of the largest U.S. banks reported a decline in commercial real estate loans in the first quarter, led by a 23.2% drop at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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