Magazine article American Banker

Bank CEOs Bullish on 1992 Profits, Survey Finds

Magazine article American Banker

Bank CEOs Bullish on 1992 Profits, Survey Finds

Article excerpt

Most bankers are expecting to increase profits this year despite holding a gloomy economic outlook, according to a survey of 600 industry chief executives.

Fifty-eight percent of those contacted last month by the accounting firm Grant Thornton said they expect their banks' earnings to rise this year. And 19% predicted increases of better than 20%.

"Bankers see 1992 as a real positive turnaround year for earnings," said Norman Katz, who heads MCS Associates, the bank consulting arm of Grant Thornton.

Bigger Bankers' Optimism

The survey represented a fairly broad sample of executives at institutions with up to $20 billion in assets. Ninety percent of those surveyed were at institutions with assets of $25 million to $500 million. The executives at larger institutions were generally the most optimistic.

Also expressing high levels of optimism were executives in the Northeast and bankers specializing in small business lending.

California-based bankers and those specializing in farm lending were the most pessimistic, the survey found.

Despite the rather optimistic profit expectations, roughly half the chief executives contacted said they though the economy was still in recession. And 46% expect no rebound before early next year; about 45% think the recovery will be in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Economic Pessimism Surprising

"We were quite surprised by the degree of pessimism on the economy," Mr. …

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