August 26, 2009

U.S. thrifts post first profit since 2007

The U.S. thrift industry has posted its first profit since the third quarter of 2007, U.S. regulators said Wednesday.

The Office of Thrift Supervision said in a release the industry's $4 million profit in second quarter of 2009, while small, is positive indicator for the future.

Although significant challenges lie ahead, thrift managers are making progress toward positioning their institutions for a positive future, Acting OTS Director John Bowman said.

Bowman noted that thrifts' capital ratios improved during the quarter, while higher net interest margins and increased fee income contributed to the improved profitability.

But, he cautioned, earnings were dampened by loan loss provisions, as well as by a special deposit insurance assessment from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Those factors reduced the thrifts' after-tax net income by an estimated $325 million.