Post-GFC recovery has led to improving credit quality and a strong growth environment for the banking sector. As a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$2.47b, Independent Bank Corp’s (NASDAQ:INDB) profit and value are directly affected by economic growth. This is because borrowers’ demand for, and ability to repay, their loans depend on the stability of their salaries and interest rates. Risk associated with repayment is measured by bad debt which is written off as an expense, impacting Independent Bank’s bottom line. Since the level of risky assets held by the bank impacts the attractiveness of it as an investment, I will take you through three metrics that are insightful proxies for risk.
Does Independent Bank Understand Its Own Risks?
The ability for Independent Bank to accurately forecast and provision for its bad loans shows it has a strong understanding of the level of risk it is taking on. If the bank provision covers more than 100% of what it actually writes off, then it is considered sensible and relatively accurate in its provisioning of bad debt. Given its high bad loan to bad debt ratio of 132.78% Independent Bank has cautiously over-provisioned 32.78% above the appropriate minimum, indicating a safe and prudent forecasting methodology, and its ability to anticipate the factors contributing to its bad loan levels.
How Much Risk Is Too Much?
Independent Bank is engaging in risking lending practices if it is over-exposed to bad debt. Loans that cannot be recuperated by the bank, also known as bad loans, should typically form less than 3% of its total loans. When these loans are not repaid, they are written off as expenses which comes out directly from Independent Bank’s profit. A ratio of 0.73% indicates the bank faces relatively low chance of default and exhibits strong bad debt management.
Is There Enough Safe Form Of Borrowing?
Independent Bank makes money by lending out its various forms of borrowings. Deposits from customers tend to bear the lowest risk given the relatively stable amount available and interest rate. Generally, the higher level of deposits a bank retains, the less risky it is deemed to be. Independent Bank’s total deposit level of 94.7% of its total liabilities is very high and is well-above the sensible level of 50% for financial institutions. This may mean the bank is too cautious with its level of its safer form of borrowing and has plenty of headroom to take on risker forms of liability.
INDB’s acquisition will impact the business moving forward. Keep an eye on how this decision plays out in the future, especially on its financial health and earnings growth. The list below is my go-to checks for INDB. I use Simply Wall St’s platform to keep informed about any changes in the company and market sentiment, and also use their data as the basis for my articles.
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for INDB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for INDB’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is INDB worth today? Has the future growth potential already been factored into the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether INDB is currently mispriced by the market.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.