Banks Have Returnd to Pre-Recession Conditions – Reports Suggests

The FDIC released its Quarterly Banking Profile today for the second quarter, here are some highlights:

1. U.S. banks earned a total of $34.5 billion from April through June, a 20.7% increase compared to Q2 2011 (see chart above). Almost two out of every three (62.7%) of the 7,246 FDIC-insured banks reported higher earnings than a year ago. Only 10.9% were unprofitable, down from 15.7% in Q2 2011.  The increase in profits was the 12th consecutive year-over-year increase in quarterly net income for U.S. banks starting in Q3 2009, following ten consecutive decreases from Q1 2007 to Q2 2009.

2. The $69.3 billion bank net income for the first half of 2012 was 21% above the same period last year, and highest profits for January-June since the $72.5 billion in 2007, five years go.

3. Banks set aside $14.2 billion in provisions for loan losses in Q2, a 26.2% decline from Q2 2011, and is the smallest quarterly total in five years.

4. Net loan charge-offs (removed from balance sheet because of uncollectibility) totaled $20.5 billion in Q2, an $8.4 billion (29.1%) reduction from Q2 2011 and is the eighth consecutive quarter that charge-offs have declined from year-earlier levels and the lowest quarterly charge-off total since Q1 2008. All major loan categories posted lower charge-offs compared with a year ago.

5. Noncurrent loan balances (loans 90 days or more past due) declined for a ninth consecutive quarter, falling by $12.9 billion (4.2%). Noncurrent levels fell in all major loan categories.

6. The number of institutions on the FDIC’s “Problem List” fell for a fifth consecutive quarter, from 772 to 732. Total assets of “problem” institutions declined from $291 billion to $282 billion.

7. Fifteen banks failed during Q2 (following 16 failed banks in Q1) which is the lowest number of failed banks in a quarter since 12 banks failed in Q4 2008.

MP: Overall, this is a very positive report for the financial conditions of U.S. banks in Q2: profits are strong (+20.7%), provisions for loan losses are at a 5-year low, net loan charge-offs fell by 29% in Q2 to a four-year low, noncurrent loans declined for the 9th quarter, the number of “problem banks” fell and the number of failed banks fell to a three- and-a-half year low.  Along with a gradually recovering overall economy, U.S. banks have gradually recovered and the financial health of the banking system has returned t0 pre-recession conditions.

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About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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