More money, fewer banks

By Wendell Cochran

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Compared with Sept. 30, 2011, an analysis of quarterly banking results by the Investigative Reporting Workshop shows:

Loans increased to $7.44 trillion, up 3.9 percent from $7.16 trillion. However, total lending remains below the peak of $7.85 trillion in the second quarter of 2008.

Troubled assets (a combination of nonperforming loans and the value of repossessed property) declined to $218.3 billion from $265.8 billion, or nearly 18 percent.

Profits for the first three quarters of 2012 totaled $106.9 billion, up from $93.2 billion in the first nine months of 2011, a gain of 14.6 percent and putting banks on target to have one of their most profitable years ever. Banks made a total of $114.3 billion last year.

The most profitable year was 2006, when banks had net income of $141.4 billion.

Meanwhile, there is no let up in the relentless consolidation of the industry. The FDIC reported results for 7,190 banks, compared with 7,444 in September 2011.

Visit IRW’s Banktracker to see the results for any bank or credit union in the nation.