Earnings and production jumped from the fourth quarter at federally insured banks and thrifts.
Residential originations at banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were $288.7 billion during the first quarter, climbing from $253.5 billion in the fourth quarter, according to data provided to MortgageDaily.com.
Production only includes originations from insured banks with assets greater than $1 billion that file Call Reports.
First-quarter volume included $288.6 billion in first liens and $0.2 billion in second liens, FDIC reported. Wholesale originations were $176.2 billion, while retail fundings amounted to $112.6 billion.
The biggest retail originator was Wells Fargo Bank N.A., which reported $30.9 billion in first-quarter production. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. was next, with $21.5 billion, followed by Bank of America N.A., at $9.3 billion.
Wells Fargo was also the biggest wholesale originator, with $50.1 billion in quarterly fundings. No. 2 was WF NB South Central, which reported $20.6 billion, and No. 3 was Citibank N.A., at $20.5 billion.
There was $2.215 trillion in 1-4 family residential mortgages and $0.625 trillion in home-equity lines on the balance sheets of insured institutions at the end of the first quarter.
Home-equity loans delinquent at least 30 days were 2.22 percent on March 31, and delinquency on other 1-4 family residential loans was 4.45 percent.
Banks earned $19 billion during the first quarter, increasing by $26 billion from a year earlier, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported today. Most of the increase was in real estate loans.
The number of institutions reporting first-quarter financial results was 8,494, down from 8,534 in the fourth quarter.
FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair noted in the release that despite a 24 percent increase in delinquent loans, loan-loss reserves only increased by 18 percent.
"The larger increase in noncurrent loans meant that the coverage ratio fell from 93 cents in reserves for every $1 of noncurrent loans to 89 cents, the lowest level since 1993," Bair said. "This is a worrisome trend."
Net income at FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions was $19.3 billion in the first quarter, the announcement said. Earnings fell from $35.6 billion a year earlier but soared from a revised $0.6 billion in the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter earnings were revised down from an originally reported $5.8 billion due to restatements by a few institutions reflecting additional charges for goodwill impairment. The revised figure is the worst since the fourth quarter 1990.
The year-over-year decline was attributed to a few large institutions, though more than half of the banks saw lower first-quarter income. Provisions for loan losses were $37.1 billion, climbing from $9.2 billion a year earlier.
While the worst of the financial turmoil may have passed, "we're still in the early stages of the traditional credit stress you typically see during an economic downturn," Bair said in the statement. "We're urging all institutions to make sure their reserves are large enough to cover expected losses. We also want them to beef up their capital cushions beyond regulatory minimums."
Two institutions failed this year, while there were 90 problem institutions at the end of the first quarter, the data indicated.