Commercial banks’ quarterly earnings ($19.9 billion for 2001:IQ) surpassed the record of $19.4 billion reported for 2000:IQ. These profits translate into an annualized return on assets of 1.27% for 2001:IQ, up slightly from 1.19% for the year 2000. On the down side, capital gains realized through security sales accounted for more than 6% of first-quarter profits. Downward pressure on core earnings continued as the net interest margin for 2001:IQ fell to 3.83%, its lowest level in more than 10 years.
Suggested citation: "Commercial Banks," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 01-07, pp. 16, 07.01.2001.