Banking


The Office of Thrift Supervision is hosting a conference to examine potential solutions to the nation's housing crisis. The OTS's Third Annual National Housing Forum is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the National Press Club in Washington.

The conference will feature experts in housing and mortgage finance issues. Several speakers and panels will focus on residential mortgage lending, federal financial regulation, mortgage banking and the securities market.

More information is available at www.ots.treas.gov.

Profits at insured banks and savings institutions tumbled 87% from year-earlier levels in the second quarter of 2008, the FDIC reported in its Quarterly Banking Profile. Industry income was $5 billion, compared with $36.8 billion in the second quarter of 2007. Behind the earnings drop were ballooning loan-loss provisions and a continuing rise in noncurrent loans.

Loan-loss provisions totaled $50.2 billion, more than quadruple the $11.4 billion the industry logged in the prioryear period. Institutions with more than $1 billion in assets saw a drop in return on assets to 0.10% from 1.23% a year earlier; smaller institutions' ROA dropped to 0.57% from 1.10%.

The rate of all loans and leases that were noncurrent (90 days or more past due or in nonaccrual status) rose for a ninth consecutive quarter to more than 2%, the highest level since the third quarter of 1993.

To read the Quarterly Banking Profile, go to www.fdic.gov.

The nation's thrifts posted $5.4 billion in losses in the second quarter of 2008, the second-worst quarter on record after $8.8 billion in losses in the fourth quarter of 2007, the OTS said. Institutions set aside $14 billion in loan-loss provisions, the highest total on record, bringing total reserves set aside in the past four quarters to $30 billion. The number of problem thrifts increased to 17, from 12 in the previous quarter.

More details on thrifts' finances are available at www.ots.treas.gov.

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