Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) reported an aggregate profit of $35.3 billion in the first quarter of this year, a $6.6 billion improvement from the $28.8 billion in net income the industry reported in the first quarter of 2011. However, loan balances declined by $56.3 billion, or 0.8%, after three consecutive quarterly increases.
More than two-thirds of all institutions (67.5%) reported improvements in their quarterly net income from a year ago, according to the FDIC, which adds that the share of institutions reporting net losses for the quarter fell to 10.3% from 15.7% a year earlier. The average return on assets rose to 1.02% from 0.86% a year ago.
‘The condition of the industry continues to gradually improve," says FDIC Acting Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. "Insured institutions have made steady progress in shedding bad loans, bolstering net worth and increasing profitability. The overall decline in loan balances is disappointing after we saw three quarters of growth last year, but we should be cautious in drawing conclusions from just one quarter.’