State's banks appear to be on the rebound

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday released its Quarterly Banking Profiles, and the numbers confirm the news of the last several months.

The banking industry in Washington has changed. There was trouble. The rebound has begun.

Some highlights:

As of June 30, there were 85 insured banks in Washington. A year before, there were 96.

At the end of June, banks employed 13,733 people in Washington. A year before, there were 15,403 employees. Two years before, there were 16,200.

Nonperforming loans made up 5.96 percent of all assets of Washington banks at the end of June. Two years before, bad loans were 1.99 percent of assets. But the current 5.96 percent was an improvement over 2009, when 7.08 percent of loans were troubled.

Also improved was the year-to-date net income of Washington banks. Two years ago, state banks produced a $165 million profit. Last year, by the end of the quarter, they had lost $539 million. This year they have lost only $188 million.

Total assets of banks in Washington fell to $68.67 billion by the end of the second quarter this year. That’s down from $78.93 billion the year before.

Another interesting data point from Tuesday’s figures: Smaller banks seem to be recovering better than larger banks. In 2008, 56.52 percent of small banks (with assets less than $100 million) were unprofitable. That same year, 14.86 percent of larger banks were unprofitable. In the latest quarter, 37.5 percent of small banks were unprofitable, compared with 44.93 percent of larger banks.