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Banks Improve Performance

Earnings rise, delinquency down

Aug. 23, 2011

By staff

The banking sector lifted quarterly earnings, lowered residential delinquency and cut down on the number of failures. Even the number of problem institutions was lower.

The number of institutions reporting in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Quarterly Banking Profile fell to 7,513 from 7,574 in the first quarter. There were 7,830 banks reporting in the report a year earlier.

The latest total included 6,413 commercial banks and 1,100 savings institutions.

Banks with asset concentrations in mortgage lending accounted for 717 of the reporting banks.

The problem-institution count fell for the first time in 19 quarters to 865 from the first quarter's 888. Assets at problem banks amounted to $372 billion. The number of problem banks was up, however, from 829 at this point last year.

But the number of failed institutions fell to 22 from the first quarter's 26, while the first-half total was down to 48 from 86 during the first half of last year. The slower activity helped the Deposit Insurance Fund swing from a $1 billion deficit to a $3.9 billion surplus -- the first positive balance in two years. Increased assessments also contributed to the improved condition.

Residential loans owned by banks eased to $1.828 trillion in the second quarter from $1.834 trillion three months earlier and $1.875 trillion 12 months earlier.

Delinquency of at least 30 days on one- to four-family residential loans was 11.82 percent. The rate was better than 12.27 percent reported for the first quarter and the 12.54 percent rate a year prior. The second-quarter rate reflected a 2.57 percent rate for loans that were between 30 and 89 days delinquent and a 90-day rate of 9.25 percent.

Another $0.616 trillion in home-equity lines of credit were owned, off from the first quarter's $0.624 trillion and down from $0.654 trillion at this point last year.

HELOC delinquency came in at 2.85 percent, better than 2.91 percent during the prior period and slightly off from 2.87 percent in the same period a year ago.

Bank employed 2,104,698 people as of June 30. Staffing has grown from 2,034,283 in the second-quarter 2010.

Net operating earnings for the sector climbed to $28.7 billion from $19.8 billion in the second-quarter 2010.

The American Bankers Association called the results a turning point and noted that the worst has passed for the sector.

"Today's report shows banks are well positioned to deal with the many challenges ahead as the economy slows once more," ABA said in a news release. "Banks have navigated these economic gyrations many times in the past."

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