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Banks Post Strong Earnings

FDIC reports 3rd quarter banking profile

November 21, 2006

By MortgageDaily.com staff

More than half of real estate loans held by federally-insured banks during the third quarter were residential. Net income during the latest period was the second-highest ever for the sector.

Those were the findings from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Quarterly Banking Profile announced today.

Total real estate loans outstanding at the end of the period were $4.46 trillion, the FDIC reported. Home equity loans represented $0.55 trillion of the total while "other 1-4 family residential" accounted for $2.18 trillion.

Banks that were "mortgage lenders" held $0.91 trillion in residential loans and $0.12 trillion in HELs, according to the data. "Commercial lenders" held $0.71 trillion in residential mortgages while their HEL holdings were $0.21 trillion.

"Residential mortgage loans had their smallest quarterly increase since the fourth quarter of 2003," the statement said.

Third quarter net income for FDIC-insured banks was $37.6 billion -- "the second-highest total ever," the announcement said. Strong loan growth fueled lower loan loss expense and increased net interest income.

The sector's net interest margin -- the spread between the average rate earned on interest-bearing investments and the average rate paid to fund those investments -- fell to the lowest level in 17 years, FDIC reported.

"Margin erosion was most pronounced at large institutions, while many small institutions were able to maintain or even improve their margins," the FDIC said. "Margin declines were caused by a flat yield curve, competitive pressures on loan and deposit pricing, and institutions' increased reliance on short-term nondeposit liabilities to fund asset growth."

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