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Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving

""Hamilton Place Strategies"":http://www.hamiltonplacestrategies.com/ has released findings from its analytics initiative, the ""Hamilton Financial Index"":http://www.hamiltonplacestrategies.com/our-firm/. The company releases its examination of the state of the U.S. financial services industry on a semi-annual basis, and Hamilton conducts the study on behalf of the ""Partnership for a Secure Financial Future"":http://www.ourfinancialfuture.com/.

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To create the index, Hamilton evaluates the systemic risk and capital levels of the nation's financial institutions, offering a look at how the industry is addressing risk. In an official statement, Hamilton noted that the study's current findings showed increasing strength in the financial sector.

As of the fourth-quarter of 2011, Hamilton's index was valued at 1.15, representing a 15 percent improvement over historical expectations. However, the totals still reveal a decline off of numbers seen in the second quarter of the year, when the index stood at 1.24.

Key results from Hamilton's index included the all-time high demonstrated among commercial banks' Tier 1 common capital levels. The company also found that the ratio of loans to deposits has declined by 20 percent since 2007, establishing a foundation for higher levels of lending.

Data from the index showed that consumer loans increased dramatically to end 2011, while business loans continue to lag. In the private sector, companies reduced their outstanding debt by 17 percent off of highs recorded during the peak of the crisis to end 2011 on a more positive note.

Commenting on Hamilton's recent index results, company partner Matt McDonald, said, ""The Hamilton Financial Index reinforces what a large stream of data continues to show: the financial services industry is more safe and sound than at any time during or before the financial crisis. Whether we look at capital levels, liquidity, asset quality, or exposure to risk, the accepted benchmarks for the financial industry have been improving dramatically across the board.""

As a participant in the Partnership for a Secure Financial Future, Hamilton works alongside companies including the ""Consumer Bankers Association"":http://www.cbanet.org/, ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/, ""Financial Services Institute"":http://www.financialservices.org/, and the ""Financial Services Roundtable"":http://www.fsround.org/. The organization defines its mission as raising ""awareness of the vital role the financial services industry plays in growing our nation's economy, creating new jobs and supporting small businesses ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô alongside our commitment to ensure our industry is strong, sound and able to withstand the ebbs and flows of economic challenges.""

Steve Bartlett, president and CEO for the Financial Services RoundTable, spoke out on Hamilton's index recently, stating, ""The data in the Hamilton Financial Index report reflects what we are seeing across the industry - financial institutions have done a great deal to become more safe and sound today. We are taking strides to ensure a stronger environment for our customers and businesses. With higher capitalization levels and a reduction in outstanding debt, it is clear that financial institutions continue to play a vital role in our economic recovery.""

About Author: Abby Gregory

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