WASHINGTON May 24 The pace of U.S. bank lending
slowed in the first three months of the year - the second
consecutive quarter of such easing - but profits across the
industry were higher, a leading bank regulator said on
The slowdown in fresh credit comes "as the economy
approaches the end of the eighth year of an expansion marked by
modest growth," Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), told reporters.
Banks call their failed loans 'charge-offs' and that tally
increased 13.4 percent, or $1.4 billion, compared to the
year-ago numbers. It was the sixth consecutive quarter that
charge-offs posted a year-over-year increase, said the FDIC.
Credit card defaults and delinquent auto loans accounted for
much of the charge-offs while commercial and industrial loans
saw fewer defaults than a year ago.
The FDIC insures bank deposits when a lender fails and the
agency's Quarterly Banking Profile gives a snapshot of the
While the tally of failed loans increased there were signs
of health for the banking industry overall.
The amount of tardy loans, called 'noncurrent', fell for the
27th time in the last 28 quarters which left the banking sector
with more resources to cover the costs of future loan losses,
said the FDIC.
Across the banking industry, quarterly profits rose 12.7
percent, higher than a year earlier, said the FDIC.
(Reporting By Patrick Rucker; Editing by Bernard Orr)