As concern about commercial real estate loans sitting in banks' portfolios has grown, the general assumption has been that smaller banks were in real trouble. Large banks and even regionals had smaller percentages of their assets tied up in CRE lending. That view is changing rapidly.

The Wall Street Journal reported that data suggests larger banks, while holding smaller portions of CRE debt overall, are facing a lot of loans in risky states. The data, from S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of Q1 regulatory findings, found higher percentages of loans that were either delinquent or nonaccrual.

Many loans by smaller banks are on multifamily projects or owner-occupied commercial properties. These can be more stable, as they don't depend on a few tenants that can and will stay and pay rent for extended periods.

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