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SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE)

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  • Jun. 26, 2014, 3:11 PM
    • "Five years ago, if the risk group recommended against a strategy or product, it might just be one part of a debate," says Wells Fargo (WFC -0.4%) chief risk officer Michael Loughlin. Now, "when we say no, it's usually no."
    • The naysayers are gaining power and multiplying across the banking industry as lenders bow to pressure from regulators to simplify and make safer their operations in the hope of preventing the next financial collapse. For its part, Wells has 2.3K employees in its core risk-management department, up from 1.7K two years ago, and the unit's annual budget has doubled to $500M over that period. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs (GS -0.2%) made its chief risk officer part of the trader/rainmaker-dominated company management committee for the first time ever.
    • The changes are expensive and come at a time of sluggish loan growth and trading revenue, but the banks have no choice as regulators wield the power given them by Dodd-Frank.
    • KeyCorp (KEY +0.1%), for instance, used to pay loan officers for meeting  profit goals. Now those bonuses can be lost if their work falls short of new risk-management standards. It's no doubt one factor behind sharply lower loan commitments for construction and real-estate development.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, KRS, KBWC, FINZ
    | 4 Comments
  • Jun. 25, 2014, 2:52 PM
    • The quest for yield is winning out over regulator efforts to clamp down on risky lending, as an OCC report finds signs of rising credit risk in the banks. The agency notes two areas in particular - leveraged loans and indirect auto loans.
    • Leveraged loans are essentially the banker version of high-yield bonds and indirect auto loans are banks financing car loans through an auto dealer.
    • 2013's issuance of covenant-lite leveraged loans - which strip away some protection for the lenders - hit $258B in 2013, about equal to the total amount issued between 1997 and 2012.
    • "Banks are looking for asset classes that performed better during the last crisis," says the OCC's Darrin Benhart. "The concern of course is that the previous crisis is not always the best indicator of what issues may happen next."
    • Full report
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, KRS, FINZ
    | 3 Comments
  • May 28, 2014, 2:16 PM
    • The agency will have fewer of its people stationed in the offices of the largest U.S. banks, instead bringing the workers back to OCC offices where they can develop a broader perspective on what may be happening in the financial system.
    • The move comes after Comptroller Thomas Curry - who took the reins in 2012 - brought in external consultants to review  the OCC's examination program which failed to sniff out much in the way of systemic risk ahead of the financial crisis.
    • This action stands in contrast to that of regulators like the FRBNY (which also whiffed on the financial crisis), which is boosting its on-site presence at banks.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, KRS, FINZ
    | 1 Comment
  • May 28, 2014, 8:23 AM
    • First they came for the big banks, and I did nothing ... The nation's largest lenders nearly sucked dry from mortgage settlements, housing regulators have turned their attention to a number of smaller players, with Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), SunTrust (STI), and Regions Financial (RF) all recently disclosing investigations into the origination and servicing of home loans. U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Capital One (COF) have also disclosed probes into various mortgage practices.
    • Any money recouped from the regional lenders would go a long way towards stabilizing the finances of the FHA which required a $1.7B taxpayer infusion last year. "Settling with the large guys gave [the government] a template," says Eric Wasserstrom from Robinson Humphrey. "The agencies involved in the national mortgage settlement had planned to focus on the largest mortgage servicers first," says the Iowa assistant AG. "Then you move on to other entities."
    • ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, KBWB, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, KRS
    | 4 Comments
  • May 21, 2014, 3:10 PM
    • It's only about the "fifth inning" of mortgage investigations, says Michael Stevens, in a phrase likely to send a chill through the boardrooms of banks across the country. Stevens is the FHFA's acting inspector general, and Bloomberg's Jody Shenn - in attendance at the MBA event where Stevens is speaking - says there was a "loud, collective gasp" from the crowd when he uttered that line.
    • Stevens says investigators have found improper actions "not only occasionally, but in the end, with almost every" deal examined. “I don’t see anything in the near future that’s going to wipe the slate clean with all of the investigations.”
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, KME, RKH, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS
    | 3 Comments
  • May 16, 2014, 2:57 PM
    • The KBW Bank Index (ETF: KBE) is off about 8% from early April, with the performance of high-profile members like BofA, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Goldman is even worse (though Wells Fargo remains close to an all-time high).
    • It used to be, writes Michael Santoli, bank stock action was key to gauge the broader health of the market, but few are fretting now. Instead attention is being paid to the slides in the Russell 2000, high-flying growth names, and Treasury yields.
    • Rather than saying anything about the economy, the drop in bank shares could be more about thinning out an easy trade (long) that got too crowded. The latest BAML fund manager survey shows pros as big sellers of bank names in the last few weeks, dropping their allocations to a 10-month low. Even with the selling, their exposure to the sector remains far above the national average.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, PFI, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FINZ, KRS
    | 1 Comment
  • May 16, 2014, 7:40 AM
    • KeyCorp (KEY) and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) are among the regional lenders stepping up their commodities business as the big Wall Street banks pull back. "[Regional lenders] are definitely beginning to fill the void left by some of the big guys," says Bonanza Creek Energy CFO Bill Cassidy.
    • Others stepping in include Australian bank Macquarie (MQBKY), Cargill, and BP. Last year, the top ten regional banks held an average of $23B in commodity derivatives on their books, up nearly 50% from 2009. Still, the amount is just a speck compared to the $3.9T on the books of the top 6 Wall Street banks.
    • Even this modest amount is meaningful though, says Guggenheim's Marty Mosby, as it allows the regionals to "pop out and create some incremental revenue growth."
    • ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, KRS
    | Comment!
  • May 9, 2014, 12:08 PM
    • There's little chance of any action this year, says Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg, but Congress could have a look at raising the bar at which banks would be considered "systemically important" to $100B in assets from $50B. The idea comes after Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo - the point man at the central bank over bank regulation - in a speech this week suggested a SIFI designation may not be necessary for those lenders with $50B-$100B in assets.
    • Being branded a SIFI brings far stricter requirements such as drawing up "living wills" and submitting to the Fed's stress test and CCAR. "If the line were redrawn at a higher figure, we might explore simpler methods for promoting macroprudential aims with respect to banks above $10 billion in assets but below the new threshold," says the central planner from the Fed.
    • Making the move to $100B from $50B, says Guggenheim's Seiberg, might be even more likely should Ohio's Sherrod Brown become head of the Senate Banking Committee. A critic of the TBTFs, Brown has also complained about undue burdens being placed on regional lenders such as his home state's Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) and KeyCorp (KEY).
    • ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, KRS, AIRR
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 25, 2014, 7:41 AM
    • Bank of America (BAC) is 1.1% lower in premarket action after last night's leak of the DOJ seeking more than another $13B out of the hide of shareholders over legacy mortgage issues, according to Bloomberg. The settlement would come on top of the $9.5B agreed to by the bank to resolve FHFA claims, and a deal could come within the next two months, according to sources.
    • Most of the loans in question became BofA's problem after it purchased Countrywide and Merrill Lynch - one made the punk loans and the other packaged them into MBS.
    • This deal - which would also resolve state AG charges - would tower over JPMorgan's eye-popper of a $13B settlement from last year, which included $4B for the FHFA.
    • They're coming for your banks next: There are another eight lenders under investigation by the DOJ and state attorneys general over similar charges.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FINZ, KRS, AIRR
    | 45 Comments
  • Apr. 22, 2014, 1:08 PM
    • The average compensation at the OCC and the CFPB in 2012 was $190K, writes the AEI's Paul Kupiec, which towers over the average salary of about $50K for bank employees. Is it the special skills of regulators? Probably not. OCC secretaries average about $80K per year and FDIC limo drivers pull down $82K. Human resources management trainees at the CFPB make about $111K.
    • In 2012, 68% of FDIC and CFPB staff - and 66% at OCC - made more than 100K per year, with 19% earning over $180K. Less than 7% of employees at these agencies earn less than 50K - put another way, 93% earned more than the average banker's salary in 2012.
    • Who pays? Bank shareholders (and customers), mostly, through deposit insurance premiums and examination fees levied by the agencies. The CFPB is funded through the Federal Reserve (which doesn't disclose pay, but it's likely even higher than the other regulators).
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FINZ, KRS, AIRR
    | 4 Comments
  • Apr. 8, 2014, 4:15 AM
    • Regulators are due to vote today on whether to increase the "leverage ratio" for the eight largest U.S. banks to 5-6% of their total assets. The Basel III standard is 3%.
    • The move would force banks to add tens of billions of dollars in loss-absorbing capital, although many firms have already been bulking up in anticipation of the rule change.
    • Meanwhile, the Fed has given banks two extra years - until July 2017 - to ensure that their collateralized loan obligations (CLO) comply with the Volcker rule's restrictions on speculative investments. The extension is a reaction banks' fears that selling their CLOs would lead to substantial losses.
    • Relevant tickers: JPM, C, BAC, WFC, GS, MS, BK, STT, ZION
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 3, 2014, 10:41 AM
    | 2 Comments
  • Apr. 2, 2014, 3:24 PM
    • A few years after public and regulatory outcry forced banks to reverse course on overdraft fee hikes, lenders are lifting them again, with economic research firm Moebs Services putting the median fee at $30 in 2013, up $1 from 2012, and $4 from 2009. "Banks have a revenue gap that needs to be recouped," says Bankrate's Greg McBride.
    • Call it an unintended consequence of new regulation. The Fed in 2010 stopped banks from automatically charging overdraft fees on debit-card and ATM transactions, and among Dodd-Frank's rules is an amendment lowering debit-card fees charged to merchants. Overdraft fees are where the money is in checking, with KBW estimating banks generated $31.9B of overdraft revenue in 2013, well off from a peak of $37.1B in 2009.
    • Among those hiking: U.S. Bancorp (USB) boosted its fee to $36 from $35 last August and Boston Private Bank (BPFH -0.3%) to $30 from $25.
    • Banks like Wells Fargo (WFC -0.1%) and JPMorgan (JPM -0.4%) offer overdraft-protection programs where money is transferred from another account to cover the shortfall. The fee at Wells is $12.50 for each day it's used; Chase charges $10.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, AIRR
    | 14 Comments
  • Mar. 28, 2014, 11:41 AM
    • Count Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch as surprised about the Fed's denial of Citigroup's (C -0.5%) capital return plan. Maybe Citi is just too tough for regulators to get their arms around as it is the most complicated of all the bank holding companies.
    • Included in the Credit Suisse report is this handy chart of dividends, buybacks, and payout ratios for all of the CCAR banks for 2013 and 2014. Things are loosening up - the median payout ratio (includes dividends and buybacks) this year of 71% compares to 59% in 2013. The dividend payout ratio rises to 26% from 23%.
    • It helps to be smaller - among the TBTFs, Citi's payout ratio is just 8%, BofA (BAC) 37%, JPMorgan (JPM) 56%, Morgan Stanley (MS) 41%. Wells Fargo is above the median though, being allowed a payout of 79%.
    • The regionals (KRE), trust banks, and credit card companies - for the most part - were all allowed payout ratios above the median.
    • The strongest capital returns vs. CS's expectations are those for BNY Mellon (BK), Capital One (COF), KeyCorp (KEY), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), PNC Financial, and Wells Fargo.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, AIRR
    | 4 Comments
  • Mar. 27, 2014, 8:36 AM
    • It's a slow grind for bank capital returns (at least those subject to the CCAR), notes Goldman' Richard Ramsden, with payout ratios boosted just four percentage points to 62% this year. There are clear winners, he says: The credit card companies led by AXP and COF and the trust banks led by BK. Regional banks (KRE) boosted returns but generally fell short of expectations (with HBAN and PNC being the exceptions). Worst-performing were the TBTFs, though JPM and WFC were positives.
    • "CCAR highlighted the challenges large-caps have in returning excess capital," he says, with Citigroup's (C) failure a reminder the process is unpredictable. With all that excess capital remaining on the balance sheet, Ciit's 2015 goal of a 10% ROTCE appears unlikely to be met.
    • For Bank of America (BAC), it's resubmission - a better outcome than outright failure - reminds that even well-capitalized banks are "bound by stressed capital and could have trouble returning outsized capital."
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, AIRR
    | 6 Comments
  • Mar. 27, 2014, 7:25 AM
    • Both Bernstein and KBW remove Outperform ratings on Citigroup (C) the morning after its capital return plan was rejected by the Fed for "qualitative" reasons. One wonders whether this disappointment wasn't already priced in as Citi has underperformed this year, and for some time been the only one of the major banks trading below book value. Shares are off 5% in premarket action.
    • Overall, the bank capital returns announced yesterday are below expectations, says Compass Point's Kevin Barker, but Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) - which boosted the dividend 20% and announced a buyback for about 3% of the float - was better than hoped.
    • XLF -0.1% premarket
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAI, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KCE, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, KRS, FINZ, KBWC, AIRR
    | 2 Comments
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KRE Description
The SPDR® S&P® Regional Banking ETF, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the S&P® Regional Banks Select Industry Index(ticker: SPSIRBK). Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Sector: Financial
Country: United States
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