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UMB Financial CEO says CECL 'means nothing to me'

The current expected credit loss model is too inconsistent to provide information about actual bank performance, UMB Financial Corp. Chairman, President and CEO J. Mariner Kemper said on the bank's second-quarter earnings call.

The bank's second-quarter provision for credit losses was $21.5 million under the new accounting methodology, but Kemper said it was not very useful for analysts and investors looking to compare the bank's performance to peers.

"We're complying with CECL because it's an accounting convention we need to comply with," said Kemper. "But it means nothing to me as it relates to how I feel about the quality of my loan portfolio."

Kemper said that nonperforming loan coverage and net charge-offs were better metrics to compare banks' performance across the board. The bank reported $5.5 million in charge-offs in the second quarter. The bank's NPL coverage ratio was 2.3x, Kemper said.

"CECL is a joke because the way every bank does it is different," Kemper said. "It's a stupid way to analyze what the problems are in a bank's portfolio."