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April 17th, 2009

Customers Not Impressed With 1stQ Earnings



Citigroup is the third banking institution to release “better-than-expected” first-quarter earnings this week — but some of their customers, as well as the Treasury Department, are not impressed — frankly they’re concerned.

An accountability report released this week by the Treasury Department revealed that lending amongst the nation’s largest banks declined by six percent in February from the month prior. The Department has become so concerned with the lack of lending amongst TARP banks that it launched a Federal probe to investigate the matter.

In their defense, the 21 banks which received $211 billion in TARP funds have had to juggle the Treasury’s demands to increase consumer lending as well as their capital reserves. At this juncture, many of the banks which received TARP funds are working hard to rid themselves of it. Furthermore, in their defense, demand for loans has also faded. The Fed’s “Beige Book” of regional economic conditions noted that during the time period in which the Treasury reported that lending declined, “Demand for commercial and industrial loans was reported to be lower in most Districts…Consumer loan demand also fell in general…” If there are fewer borrowers, how are banks supposed to maintain lending, let alone increase it?

That being said, many bank customers still feel that TARP repayment efforts have become a priority over their immediate concerns. The latest increases in credit card rates and fees, as well as banks’ lackluster interest (so far) in Washington’s latest housing initiatives, has proven to some that banks are more concerned about themselves than their customers. One of our readers commented:

“I can’t speak for the other banks, but I can say that Chase is not interested in “helping” their customers. In fact, just the opposite. They are trying to push them over the edge.”

Readers: Is your bank more concerned with their immediate interests or your own? Are  you a credit-quality borrower and still been turned away?

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2 Responses to “Customers Not Impressed With 1stQ Earnings”

  1. Mitch Says: April 18th, 2009 at 1:34 am

    The stock traders love this stuff, which works out for the Dow, but the rest of us have grown to distrust banks and many other credit card lenders, and we both know why.

    Citigroup is one of those really sneaky banking institutions that tried all it could to raise money by selling debt to collection agencies that they knew they not only had already written off years ago, but had already been collected on; I was one of those victims, and I’m just lucky I had proof that the balance had been paid.

    The credit card fees and tricks others have tried, with Chase in the lead, really stinks. So, these guys are going to have to go a long way to make us feel better about anything.

  2. Tim Manni Says: April 20th, 2009 at 12:42 pm


    That’s interesting…I just heard some advice the other day on dealing with debt collectors. As you said, many times they go after people who had paid their debts some time prior. Perhaps that would make a good blog post???

    Good to hear from you,

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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