Healthy banking conditions exist right now — low unemployment, a good economy, and customers looking to make capital investment moves in their lives.

At some point, the risks on the horizon will get closer. A flattening yield curve and rising short-term interest rates point to exactly that. The trough of the last recession was June 2009, and we’ve been in economic expansion for the last 110 months. This is important to note when the National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the longest economic expansion period on record is 120 months.

Banks live and die by asset quality. There’s no more important function to help identify emerging risks within your loan portfolio than with a thorough external loan review program. There’s a lot of choices out there, but we wanted to take this opportunity to explain our approach to loan reviews.

Experts need to be a part of the process.

External loan reviews for some vendors is about powering through the line tickets and credits as quickly as possible to get on to the next review. We believe the line tickets need more care — this is where red flags pop up.

We provide a unique view of looking at these loans from both sides of the desk — banker and the critical asset quality grader, the examiner. We’ll help you be thorough, while still managing your loan portfolio effectively.

We are independent in our process.

We see it often. Banks are entrenched with a loan reviewer of choice, and that reviewer sends the same professional to always take care of the bank. We think that approach is bad for truly identifying risk areas. Community Bank Advisors (CBA) rotates a qualified team of reviewers to ensure a fresh look at credits each review period.

Loan Reviews can and should be an efficient process.

Our team has created a unique, proprietary workflow that minimizes distractions to your staff, while providing an ultra-thorough review.

Loan Reviews should be and is the perfect time to assess emerging risks, value, and credit risk management.

When getting an external loan review, a bank typically gets handed back a report regarding the specific credits that were graded. We think this is the perfect opportunity to take a deep dive and give you the information and visibility you need to guide your bank.

The CBA external loan review addresses your loan policy, ALLL, appraisal reviews and much more. An external loan review should be the time to get the full picture of your loan program.

When we were behind the banking desk, we always wondered — why is this process not transparent?

That’s why we started providing the line tickets for every borrower. This shows exactly why our reviewers graded a credit a certain way. This transparency shouldn’t cost extra — it should be transparent to give you the visibility you deserve.

Finally, we know loan reviews are price driven.

Even though our process is a bit more robust, we know external loan reviews are sometimes a price-driven decision for a bank. By creating our streamlined process with experienced professionals, we are able to offer a loan review experience that will be in the same price range as other vendors. So why get a loan review off the extra-value dollar menu when you could get the full combo of what your bank needs for the same value?

We encourage you to investigate your external loan review plans going forward. Is it time for the same old process, or is it time for an injection of value, thoroughness, and expertise in assessing your portfolio?

Community Bank Advisors is always a call away. Give us a ring to schedule your external loan review today.