Sheshunoff Report Reflects Health of Banking Industry

Article excerpt

For the first time in years, Oklahoma doesn't really stand out in comparison with other states on the latest quarterly report from Sheshunoff Information Services Inc.

At first blush that may not sound too good, but in reality good is exactly what it indicates _ both for the state and the nation. The state banking industry has improved in absolute terms, but so has the rest of the country.

Instead of Oklahoma being ranked in the top 10 on some measure, the closest it came for the quarter which ended Sept. 30, 1993, was having the 12th lowest net charge-off figure in the nation with $27.2 million. Even though the charge-offs represented an impressive 43 percent decrease from the September 1992 figure, there were 22 other states that had higher percentage decreases.

Oklahoma entered its banking crisis before the East and West Coasts, and as such led the way in problem areas like nonperforming loans, net charge-offs and other unpleasantries.

As the problems were _ oh so slowly _ being worked out of Oklahoma's banks, other parts of the country started having the very same troubles. Executives that had laughed at bumpkin oilpatch bankers suddenly were having large doses of crow as they came face to face with the normal reactions of a collapsed economy.

With many other states in decline, Oklahoma began looking much better, even though problems persisted. The Sooner State began leading the country for indicators of improvement, such as reductions in charge-offs and nonperforming loans. That has slackened now that other states are showing improvements.

Sheshunoff's latest report, for the third quarter, showed that Oklahoma had the 13th lowest percentage increase in net income before extraordinary items, with 8.9 percent. The $282 million earned for the nine months ranked the state 30th.

The Sooner State also had the 14th lowest percentage of net charge-offs to average loans, with 0.2 percent.

Oklahoma banks also showed improvements in key areas from earlier periods.

Banks in Oklahoma County, for example, showed strong growth in several categories. Loans rose 15.9 percent to $3.47 billion, up from $3 billion a year earlier. Net income before extraordinary items was up 10 percent to $56.7 million, up from $51.5 million in 1992. Assets climbed 7 percent to $7.2 billion, up from $6.79 billion a year earlier.

The growth was despite the fact that the county had four fewer banks reporting during the period in 1993 than in 1992. There were 39 banks reporting in 1993, down from 43 a year earlier. …