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Loan growth at community banks remains mostly lackluster.

LOAN VOLUME AT COMMUNITY BANKS (assets of under $10 billion) shrank nearly 1 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, SNL Financial reports. Volume was also down slightly from the same quarter a year ago, about 0.2 percent.

The overall outlook this year for loans is for modest, but not robust growth, SNL says.

One bright spot for community banks with more than $ 1 billion in assets is multifamily lending, particularly when compared with a year earlier. SNL says that competition for desirable customers remains intense with some prospects seeking discounted pricing.

Another bright spot for community banks is ongoing customer frustration with service from large banks. As a result, some community banks that are strong on personalized service are finding that they can cherry-pick appealing customers from larger lenders.

Gaining market share is the more viable strategy in areas of the country where the economy remains stagnant, SNL reports. Loan growth has been slightly stronger in the Mid-Atlantic and New England, where an economic uptick started sooner, (www.snl.com)

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Title Annotation:MARKETING NEWS
Publication:ABA Bank Marketing
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2012
Words:178
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