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For Immediate Release
November 20, 2018
ABA Media Contact: Mike Townsend
(202) 663-5471 
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

ABA Statement on FDIC’s Third Quarter Bank Earnings Report

By James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist

​“The industry demonstrated another solid and consistent performance in the third quarter. Lending rose in every major category, helping to spur strong economic growth throughout the country. A strong job market and a healthy business environment have sparked intense interest in borrowing among consumers as well as businesses seeking to expand. Asset quality was the strongest it’s been in more than a decade while bank capital levels hit record highs. We’re also seeing competition for deposits heating up as banks look to further expand the lending that drives our economy forward.
“Bank capital now totals just shy of $2 trillion, further positioning banks to support continued loan growth. With capital ratios at record highs, the overwhelming majority of America's banks – 99.6 percent – are well-capitalized, far exceeding the highest regulatory standards.
“In the 10th year of the economic cycle, problem loans continued to decline as increased reserves, stronger asset quality and higher capital safeguard banks against fluctuations. Banks are always sensitive to credit and interest rate risk, and maintaining judicious underwriting standards remains a top priority. Institutions are carefully monitoring the likelihood of any potential Fed interest rate increases in the months ahead, and they are well prepared to manage the current rate outlook.
“The FDIC’s deposit insurance fund has completed its recapitalization to higher levels set by Congress two years earlier than expected. The banking industry fully funds the FDIC’s operations and its insurance fund, which it has built up to more than $100 billion. A strong banking industry, healthy deposit insurance fund and tailored regulations are the right combination to maintain safety and soundness and support the longest economic expansion in history.”
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17.5 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $13.5 trillion in deposits and extend nearly $10 trillion in loans.
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