A new government report shows that South Carolina banks as a whole earned $16 million more in profits last year compared to 2012.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in its quarterly performance summary released Wednesday that the 69 financial institutions based in the state made $166 million, up almost 11 percent. That outpaced the national annual growth rate of 9.6 percent.
South Carolina was home to 69 federally insured lending institutions at year's end, down from 71 at the close of 2012. Employment in the industry in South Carolina dipped slightly to 9,271 positions as of Dec. 31, or about 100 fewer than a year earlier.
At the same time, the level of soured loans and repossessed real estate continued to fall, reflecting the broader rebound in the economy. So-called nonperforming assets declined 27 percent to 2.94 percent of total bank assets.
Nationally, earnings at all banks increased to what the FDIC calls a record annual level of $154.7 billion. It exceeded the previous record profit of $145.2 billion in 2006.
The data provides fresh evidence of the industry's sustained recovery more than five years after the financial crisis struck. Still, the government says banks are still finding it difficult to increase revenues, and that a key reason they're able to boost earnings is that they're having to set less aside in their reserves to cover loan losses.
The FDIC, created during the Great Depression, monitors and examines the financial condition of U.S. banks. The agency guarantees deposits up to $250,000 per account.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.