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Bank Performance Strengthens

Banks earn $35.3 billion in Q3

Nov. 22, 2011

By staff

U.S. financial institutions continued a trend of improving income as the number of troubled institutions fell, delinquency improved and employment expanded.

Banks owned $4.114 trillion in loans secured by real estate as of Sept. 30, shrinking from $4.123 trillion as of June 30. Real estate assets were higher at $4.303 trillion a year earlier.

The performance statistics were reported Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Included in the third-quarter total were $1.852 trillion in residential loans and $0.608 trillion in home-equity lines of credit.

Residential delinquency of at least 30 days was 11.62 percent as of Sept. 30. In the prior quarter, the rate was 11.82 percent, while delinquency stood at 12.53 percent in the same period a year earlier.

HELOC delinquency was 2.92 percent, climbing from the second quarter's 2.85 percent. But late payments on HELOCs were lower than 3.05 percent in the third-quarter 2010.

Banks also owned $1.601 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, growing from $1.547 trillion three months earlier.

Earnings were $35.3 billion, up 49 percent from a year earlier, the ninth consecutive year-over-year improvement and the highest quarterly net since the second-quarter 2007.

"We continue to see income growth that reflects improving asset quality and lower loss provisions," FDIC Acting Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said in a statement. "U.S. banks have come a long way from the depths of the financial crisis."

The findings reflect data reported by 7,436 institutions, fewer than 7,513 banks and thrifts reporting in the second quarter. The latest count included 6,352 commercial banks and 1,084 savings institutions.

The FDIC said that there are 844 problem institutions with $339 billion in assets. Last year, there were 860 banks in this category with $379 billion in assets.

Bank failures total 74 so far during 2011. In 2010, 127 banks failed.

Industry-wide headcount closed out September at 2,109,911 employees, more than the 2,104,899 people on staff at the end of June.

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