State bank profits up 6 percent in first quarter | Local

Nebraska’s banks continued to post solid results in the first quarter of the year.

The state’s banks had a combined profit of $224 million in the first three months of 2017, an increase of more than 6 percent over the same period a year ago, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

That is the best first quarter ever for Nebraska’s banks, and it puts the state on course for another record year of profits.

The state’s banks are coming off of a 2016 in which they collectively earned $908 million, the seventh straight year of record earnings.

Nationally, banks did even better, recording an overall profit increase of 12.7 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago.

It was more of a mixed bag for the nine banks based in Lincoln.

Though the banks overall increased their profit more than 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016, more than both the state and national increases, that was completely due to one bank, Union Bank & Trust, which more than doubled its earnings for the period.

The other eight banks collectively earned more than $1.3 million less than a year ago.

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FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg noted in a news release that despite the large gain in profits nationally, banks have seen a slowdown in loan growth “that is broad-based across major lending categories.”

Only 50 percent of banks statewide made more money in the first quarter than they did a year ago, compared with 58 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and 61 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

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