A standard component of monthly board meetings is an update on the performance and volume of the institution’s Watch List, the group of adversely classified loans under close supervision due to past nonperformance. Oftentimes, the Watch List includes loans rated as a (low) Pass, Special Mention, or Substandard, though in some situations the bank also includes loans nearing these thresholds as precautionary measure.
A trend analysis for the Watch List may be analyzed on a variety of fronts including
1. Outstanding Balance
2. Number of Loans
3. Number of Borrowers
4. Total Exposure
This group of problem loans holds special interest to the Board, in part because of its potential impact on the allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL). Further decline in this part of the portfolio necessitates an increased impairment for these loans and therefore an additional allowance provision. Given the allowance is often overly scrutinized by examiners and because it directly impacts the bank’s earning potential, movements within the ALLL are an important board meeting agenda item.