Fewer banks fail­ing as in­dus­try strength­ens

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Banks MATT ROURKE / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — U.S. banks are end­ing the year with their best prof­its since 2006 and fewer fail­ures than at any time since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis struck in 2008. They’re help­ing sup­port an econ­omy slowed by high un­em­ploy­ment, flat pay, slug­gish man­u­fac­tur­ing and anx­ious con­sumers.

As the econ­omy heals from the worst fi­nan­cial cri­sis since the Great De­pres­sion, more peo­ple and busi­nesses are tak­ing out — and re­pay­ing — loans.

And for the first time since 2009, banks’ earn­ings growth is be­ing driven by higher rev­enue — a healthy trend. Banks had pre­vi­ously man­aged to boost earn­ings by putting aside less money for pos­si­ble losses. Signs of the in­dus­try’s gains:

Banks are earn­ing more.

A man walks past a Wells Fargo Bank in Philadel­phia. In the July to Septem­ber quar­ter, the in­dus­try reg­is­tered its best earn­ings since the third quar­ter of 2006.

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