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As a small-cap bank stock with a market capitalisation of US$742m, Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation’s (NASDAQ:BMTC) risk and profitability are largely determined by the underlying economic growth of the US regions in which it operates. Since a bank profits from reinvesting its clients’ deposits in the form of loans, negative economic growth may lower deposit levels and demand for loan, adversely impacting its cash flow. After the Financial Crisis in 2008, a set of reforms called Basel III was created with the purpose of strengthening regulation, risk management and supervision in the banking sector. These reforms target banking regulations and intends to enhance financial institutions’ ability to absorb shocks resulting from economic stress which could expose banks like Bryn Mawr Bank to vulnerabilities. Unpredictable macro events such as political instability could weaken its financial position which is why it is important to understand how well the bank manages its risk levels. High liquidity and low leverage could position Bryn Mawr Bank favourably at the face of macro headwinds. A way to measure this risk is to look at three leverage and liquidity metrics which I will take you through today.
Why Does BMTC's Leverage Matter?
A low level of leverage subjects a bank to less risk and enhances its ability to pay back its debtors. Leverage can be thought of as the amount of assets a bank owns relative to its shareholders’ funds. Financial institutions are required to have a certain level of buffer to meet capital adequacy levels. Bryn Mawr Bank’s leverage level of 8.24x is very safe and substantially below the maximum limit of 20x. With assets 8.24 times equity, the banks has maintained a prudent level of its own fund relative to borrowed fund which places it in a strong position to pay back its debt in times of adverse events. If the bank needs to increase its debt levels to firm up its capital cushion, there is plenty of headroom to do so without deteriorating its financial position.
What Is BMTC's Level of Liquidity?
Due to its illiquid nature, loans are an important asset class we should learn more about. Normally, they should not exceed 70% of total assets, however its current level of 73% means the bank has lent out 3.25% above the sensible threshold. This means its revenue is reliant on these specific assets which means the bank is also more exposed to defaulting relative to banks with less loans.
What is BMTC's Liquidity Discrepancy?
A way banks make money is by lending out its deposits as loans. These loans tend to be fixed term which means they cannot be readily realized, however, customer deposits are liabilities which must be repaid on-demand and in short notice. This mismatch between illiquid loans and liquid deposits poses a risk for the bank if unusual events occur and requires it to immediately repay its depositors. Compared to the appropriate industry loan to deposit level of 90%, Bryn Mawr Bank’s ratio of over 95% is higher which puts the bank in a risky position as it borders negative liquidity disparity between loan and deposit levels. Essentially, for $1 of deposits with the bank, it lends out more than $0.9 which is risky.
We've only touched on operational risks for BMTC in this article. But as a stock investment, there are other fundamentals you need to understand. Below, I've compiled three pertinent aspects you should further examine:
Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for BMTC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BMTC’s outlook.
Valuation: What is BMTC 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 BMTC 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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.