Farm Banks Strong
The banking industry continues to be the major source of agricultural credit, providing more than half of all outstanding farm loans, according to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report.
The nation’s 2,185 farm banks increased farm and ranch lending $3.8 billion or 5.6 percent in 2011, for a total outstanding balance of $72.3 billion. “The growth in farm loans shows banks continue to meet the credit needs of both large and small farms and remain the most important supplier of agricultural credit,” said John Blanchfield, senior vice president and director of ABA’s Center for Agricultural & Rural Banking.
Farm banks added 6,327 jobs in rural America since 2007, a 7.8 percent increase, and employed a total of 86,984 men and women at the end of 2011.
“Farm banks posted solid performance in 2011, reflecting the overall strength of the agricultural economy,” said Blanchfield. Pre-tax income rose 25.3 percent, the second consecutive annual increase, while equity capital increased 10.9 percent to $40.4 billion and asset quality continued to improve.
The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. The majority of ABA’s members are banks with less than $185 million in assets. Learn more at aba.com