Banking


Amid surging loan losses and a rapid rise in noncurrent loans, profits at the nation’s banks fell to their second-lowest level since 1990 in the third quarter of 2008. The latest issue of the FDIC’s Quarterly Banking Profile said industry income fell to $1.7 billion, a 94% drop from $28.7 billion in the third quarter of 2007. Loan-loss provisions tripled from the prior-year period, jumping from $16.8 billion to $50.5 billion.

Bad loans continued to pile up with net charge-offs increasing for the seventh straight quarter. The $27.9 billion in net charge-offs in the third quarter was up 156.4% from the prior-year period. Two-thirds of those charge-offs consisted of loans secured by real estate. Noncurrent loans and leases (those 90 days or more past due or in nonaccrual status) increased to $184.3 billion by the end of the quarter, an increase of $21.4 billion (13.1%) from the previous quarter and an increase of $101.2 billion (122%) over the past 12 months.

The complete Quarterly Banking Profile is available at www.fdic.gov.

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When professionals prepare written material for readers inside their organization or outside, they should make sure that no errors distract from the message they need to convey. Take this short quiz for practice in subject-verb agreement.