Profits and balance sheet developments at U.S. commercial banks in 2002
Despite the lackluster performance of the U.S. economy, the profitability of the U.S. commercial banking industry was again high in 2002, and the return on bank assets reached its highest level in more than three decades. Profitability was spurred in considerable part by declines in market interest rates to extraordinarily low levels. Short-term interest rates were low throughout 2002 as a result of the Federal Reserve's aggressive easing the year before in response to economic weakness, and longer-term rates fell to multidecade lows by year-end. Nevertheless, the yield curve steepened on average, benefiting net interest margins. The decline in longer-term interest rates also boosted realized gains on securities. The low interest rates strengthened the ability of households and businesses to service their debt, which also supported bank profitability. Finally, a change in accounting rules that largely eliminated the requirement to amortize goodwill caused a one-time drop in expenses. Despite the largest decline in commercial and industrial loans since the 1990-91 recession, the expansion of bank balance sheets quickened last year, driven primarily by real estate lending and substantial acquisitions of securities. Equity capital rose slightly faster than assets, and regulatory capital ratios also improved a bit, benefiting from an increased share of assets with low regulatory risk weights.
Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Jun ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551|
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2003:i:jun:p:243-270:n:v.89no.6. 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.