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Nation’s banks produce 9% earnings growth

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Springfield-based banks were among Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured financial institutions that together posted earnings growth in the first quarter.

The 5,362 institutions reported aggregate net income of $60.7 billion, an 8.7% increase compared with first-quarter 2018, according to a news release.

“Growth in net income was mainly attributable to higher net interest income,” FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said in the release. “Community banks also reported a strong quarter, with annual loan growth and a net interest margin surpassing the overall industry.”

Springfield’s two publicly traded banking companies, Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC) and Guaranty Federal Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: GFED), helped lead the increase in overall profits.

Great Southern posted a first-quarter earnings boost of 30.8% to $17.6 million, while Guaranty started the year with a 56% net income jump to $2.1 million.

First-quarter financial notes for FDIC-insured institutions include:
• a 10% boost in earnings — to $6.5 billion — for the 4,930 insured community banks;
• a 6% increase in net interest income to $139.3 billion; and
• one fewer of the so-called problem banks — those in danger of failing — to now 59.

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