Dec. 4 - The U.S. banking industry posted the highest quarterly earnings since before the financial crisis, according to the industry's regulator. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Today's Daily Digit is $37.6 billion. This is how much U.S. banks made in the third quarter of 2012, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. It's the highest quarterly total for the industry since 2006. There are two major reasons behind the 6.6 percent increase from a year ago: First, as business picked up, banks chopped the amount set aside to cover bad loans. Second, banks are boosting income from fees, like overdraft fees and account service charges. Also, almost half of all banks reported year-over-year improvement in income from asset sales. Another factor: The FDIC says loan balances grew for the second consecutive quarter and the number of banks on the "problem list" fell...helping the sector return to profits not seen since before the financial crisis.