New FDIC Reports Chart Continued Effect of Pandemic on Banks

Two reports released today by the FDIC provide data on consumer lending, deposit rates and branch closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combined effects of the pandemic, changing spending patterns and government stimulus programs bolstered deposits and accelerated branch closures of insured depository institutions for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, according to a report in the FDIC Quarterly. Deposit growth rates moderated compared with the record highs reported in 2020, and the number of branch closures increased. As branches declined, customers reported increased use of mobile banking for routine transactions.

Community banks reported higher deposit growth compared with noncommunity banks, and branches of noncommunity banks closed at a higher rate, underscoring the continued importance of community banks, the same report noted. Minority depository institutions reported a merger-adjusted net gain in branches.

Results from another FDIC report showed that while credit card loan balances remained below the pre-recession level through the fourth quarter of 2021, auto loans and other consumer loans grew throughout 2020 and 2021. Performance of all types of bank consumer loans improved due to government support, forbearance programs and tighter underwriting standards for new loans, the report noted.