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Washington
Bank earnings low but best in a year
WASHINGTON (5/28/09)—Although bank and thrift earnings were down more than 60% from a year ago, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) reported Wednesday that net income for its federally insured institutions for the first quarter of 2009 was the best it’s been in four quarters. Net income for the January 1-to-March 31 period was $7.6 billion, down $11.7 billion, or 60.8%, from the $19.3 billion the industry earned in the first quarter of 2008. However, the picture looks brighter when compared to the reported $36.9 billion of losses in the fourth quarter of last year. The FDIC attributed the year-to-year earnings drop, in part, to higher loan-loss provisions, increased goodwill write-downs, and reduced income from securitization activities. The agency said three out of five insured institutions reported lower net income in the first quarter and one in five was unprofitable. The FDIC’s Quarterly Banking Profile also reported that the agency’s Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) reserve ratio fell to 0.27%, a decline from 0.36% of insured deposits. Other points of interest:
* The FDIC has set aside $28 billion in reserve to cover projected losses for the next 12 months; * The FDIC will collect more than $8 billion in premiums during the second quarter, including $5.6 billion from the special assessment the FDIC Board approved on May 22; and * Insured deposits increased 1.7% in the quarter -- approximately $82 billion -- and are up 9% over the last 12 months.
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a release that the growth in insured deposits is a “vote of confidence from bank customers” who “obviously see the value of the FDIC guarantee." The National Credit Union Administration released comparable figures regarding first-quarter performance by federally insured credit unions Wednesday. (See related story: CU membership, assets, savings grow; net income down.)
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