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FDIC Reports Struggles Ahead for Banks

As more people struggle to pay their mortgages, large and small banks alike have taken the hit. The FDIC ""reported on Wednesday"":http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2009/pr09077.html that 305 banks have made the agency's high-risk list, and more are expected as the recession and housing crisis continue.
Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the FDIC reported net income of $7.6 billion during the first three months of 2009 - that's a 60.8 percent decline from the industry's earnings in the first quarter of 2008. Three out of five insured institutions reported lower net income in Q1, and one in five was unprofitable.
According to the FDIC, U.S. banks set aside $61 billion in the first quarter to cover projected losses on loans. And the agency said these higher loan-loss provisions, increased goodwill write-downs, and reduced income from securitization activities all contributed to the year-over-year earnings decline.
The FDIC also noted that asset-quality indicators continue to decline. Insured institutions charged off $37.8 billion in bad loans in the first quarter, almost twice the $19.6 billion of a year earlier. The amount of loans and leases that were 90 days or more past due or in non-accrual status rose by $59.2 billion during the quarter, and are $154.3 billion higher than a year ago.
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair commented, ""Troubled loans continue to accumulate, and the costs associated with impaired assets are weighing heavily on the industry's performance.""
Bair added, ""The first quarter results are telling us that the banking industry still faces tremendous challenges, and that going forward, asset quality remains a major concern. Banks are making good efforts to deal with the challenges they're facing, but [the Q1] report says that we're not out of the woods yet. As I see it, we're now in the cleanup phase for the banking industry.""
The FDIC also reported that its insurance fund fell from $17.3 billion to $13 billion in the first quarter, after 21 ""institutions failed"":http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html. Last week, the agency announced a ""new fee structure"":http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2009/pr09074.html that it will charge banks in order to raise $5.6 billion to replenish its coffers.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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