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FDIC-insured banks grow Q4 net income 7.7%

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Banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. posted aggregate fourth-quarter net income of $43.7 million, a 7.7 percent increase compared with $40.6 million a year earlier.

The latest quarterly results brought combined earnings to $171.3 billion for the year, a 4.9 percent increase over 2015, according to a news release.

Fourth-quarter financial notes:
    •    The 5,913 reporting institutions pushed net operating revenue — the sum of net interest income and noninterest income — by 4.6 percent to $181.8 billion.
    •    The 5,461 community banks posted a 10.5 percent increase in net income.
    •    The number of banks in danger of failing — known as problem banks — slid to 123 from 132 a year earlier. The latest figure is the lowest number of problem banks in over seven years and is down from a peak of 888 in first-quarter 2011.

FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said despite the increases, challenges remain.

“Low interest rates for an extended period have led some institutions to reach for yield, which has increased their exposure to interest-rate risk, liquidity risk and credit risk,” he said in the release. “Banks must manage risks prudently to ensure that industry growth is on a long-run, sustainable path.”

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