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Profits and balance sheet developments at U.S. commercial banks in 1999


  • William F. Bassett
  • Egon Zakrajsek


The U.S. commercial banking industry posted record earnings in 1999. The industry's return on assets and return on equity both rose above the already high level of recent years. Profitability was concentrated at large banks--particularly among the 100 largest--and was driven upward by a surge in noninterest income and a significant slowdown in the growth of noninterest expense. Other sources of improved profitability were a stabilization of net interest income, which had been weakening in recent years, and lower loan loss provisioning permitted by generally good asset quality. The growth of total bank assets slowed slightly relative to 1998, but loans expanded at about the same brisk pace as last year.

Suggested Citation

  • William F. Bassett & Egon Zakrajsek, 2000. "Profits and balance sheet developments at U.S. commercial banks in 1999," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jun, pages 367-395.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2000:i:jun:p:367-395:n:v.86no.6

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    Banks and banking ; Bank profits ; Bank assets;


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