News release – Federal Reserve Board: “The credit quality of large loan commitments owned by U.S. banking organizations, foreign banking organizations (FBOs), and nonbanks was relatively unchanged in 2013 from the prior year, federal banking agencies said Thursday. The volume of criticized assets remained elevated at $302 billion, or 10 percent of total commitments, which was approximately twice the percentage of pre-crisis levels. The stagnation in credit quality follows three consecutive years of improvements. A criticized asset is rated special mention, substandard, doubtful, or loss as defined by the agencies’ uniform loan classification standards. The Shared National Credits (SNC) annual review was completed by the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Leveraged loans–transactions characterized by a borrower with a degree of financial leverage that significantly exceeds industry norms–totaled $545 billion of the 2013 SNC portfolio and accounted for $227 billion, or 75 percent, of criticized SNC assets. Material weaknesses in the underwriting of leveraged loans were observed, and 42 percent of leveraged loans were criticized by the agencies.”
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