Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Profits and balance sheet developments at U.S. commercial banks in 2003


Author Info

  • Mark Carlson
  • Roberto Perli


Amid a strengthening economic expansion, U.S. commercial banks remained highly profitable in 2003. Return on assets reached a record level for the second year in a row, and return on equity was near the top of its recent range. Banks' profits were bolstered by decreased loan-loss provisions as a rising economy and considerable debt refinancing at very low interest rates led to lower delinquency rates on business and household loans. Fees associated with record mortgage refinancing activity and robust corporate bond issuance boosted non-interest income. Increases in non-interest expense were generally modest, although compensation-related costs rose more briskly. Lower long-term interest rates in the first part of the year allowed banks to realize gains on the sale of some of their securities, but they also contributed to a further shrinking of net interest margins. Banks' balance sheets expanded briskly, as the strong housing market and heavy refinancing activity boosted residential mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Business loans ran off for a third year, albeit at a slower pace than in 2002 and 2003. Banks' regulatory capital positions strengthened further, as the growth of assets with low regulatory risk weights outpaced that of assets with higher risk weights.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its journal Federal Reserve Bulletin.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): Spr ()
Pages: 162-191

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2004:i:spr:p:162-191:n:v.90no.2

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:

Related research

Keywords: Banks and banking ; Bank profits ; Bank assets;


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Lang, William W. & Mester, Loretta J. & Vermilyea, Todd A., 2008. "Competitive effects of Basel II on US bank credit card lending," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 478-508, October.
  2. William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2005. "Potential competitive effects on U.S. bank credit card lending from the proposed bifurcated application of Basel II," Working Papers 05-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2004:i:spr:p:162-191:n:v.90no.2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.