NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 8, 2013) - The U.S. Banking Industry has benefited from a slowly, but steadily improving economy over the past few years. Recent data has shown that U.S. banks posted their second highest earnings on record in 2012. The SPDR KBW Bank ETF (KBE) and the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) over the past year have posted gains of 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Banking Industry and provides equity research on Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C).
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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that 2012 full year earnings for U.S. banks totaled $141.3 billion, an increase of $22.9 billion (19.3 percent) when compared to a year ago. Earnings for U.S. banks reached their peak in 2006 with $145.2 billion. The earnings growth in 2012 was largely attributed to a decrease in capital set aside for loan losses, the FDIC stated. Earnings for the fourth quarter grew 36.9 percent year-over-year to $34.7 billion.
"On the positive side, income has been rising for more than three years; asset quality has been improving for more than two years; and for over a year, banks have been lending more in support of a recovering U.S. economy," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in a statement.
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On Thursday the Federal Reserve releases results of stress tests that showed that 17 of the 18 big banks would survive a severe recession -- Ally Financial Inc. was the only exception. U.S. banks are expected to announce possible dividend increases/share buy backs sometime next week.
"The nation's largest bank holding companies have continued to improve their ability to withstand an extremely adverse hypothetical economic scenario and are collectively in a much stronger capital position than before the financial crisis," the Fed said in its recent release.
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