Fewer banks failing as industry strengthens
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.