The first three quarters of 1997 set consecutive earnings records for U.S. commercial banking. Although the dollar amount of earnings continued to rise in the third quarter, the return on assets fell slightly to 1.22% (from 1.24% in the second quarter). The industry’s position seems much strengthened since the first nine months of 1996, partly because earnings for 1996:IIIQ were depressed by a one-time assessment to capitalize the Savings Association Insurance Fund.
Suggested citation: “Banking Conditions,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-02, pp. 17, 02.01.1998.