U.S. Loan Market Survey

Corporate Finance & Restructuring

April 1, 2020

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FTI Consulting’s Senior Lender practice presents the findings of its 2020 U.S. Loan Market Survey which provides a glimpse into bank and non-bank lenders’ views against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil market price disruptions.

According to the survey, which was conducted from Feb. 19 to March 6, just as the pandemic was gaining hold in the United States, 53% of bank and non-bank lenders in the U.S. market viewed COVID-19 as an event more significant than global financial markets were expecting, and 19% viewed it as something capable of triggering a global recession that markets were too complacent about.

With the COVID-19 crisis and the field of Democratic presidential candidates being narrowed as a backdrop, our survey provides a glimpse into how respondents viewed 2020 prior to the current market turmoil. As such, some of the responses seem obvious in light of the state of the financial markets — however, when looking through the lens of what was known at the time of the responses, the clairvoyance of some respondents is apparent.

Majority of respondents viewed COVID-19 as either a significant event that markets were under-appreciating or an event capable of triggering recession.

  • At the same time, respondents were generally sanguine about the upcoming year just prior to the COVID-19 impact.
  • Overall, non-bank lenders were more optimistic about market conditions and the economy in 2020 than bank lenders.

An overwhelmingly majority of respondents believed that President Trump will be re-elected in November.

  • We wonder aloud if leaders emerging through the COVID-19 crisis would change some of those responses today.

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