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1997 Annual Report

Highlights

January 16
Experts from around the country gathered at an FDIC-sponsored symposium to examine the banking crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s. At the heart of the discussion was a two-year FDIC research project on the causes of the crisis and its lessons. The study was published later in the year as a two-volume work, History of the Eighties–Lessons for the Future. (click here)

January 29
The FDIC became the first federal banking agency to issue examination procedures on electronic banking and associated risks to its staff. The FDIC also provided the examination guidance to financial institutions, assisting them in the early development of their electronic banking systems. The guidance was followed by comprehensive training of examiners and technical staff. (click here)

March 13
The FDIC announced that commercial banks earned record annual profits for the fifth consecutive year. Earnings reached $52.4 billion in 1996, which surpassed the previous record of $48.8 billion in 1995. Strong growth in noninterest income, such as fees and service charges, was largely credited for the earnings growth. In 1997, bank earnings reached another new record of $59.2 billion, up 13.1 percent from 1996 results. (click here)

Selected Statistics

April 28
The FDIC announced a series of seminars to educate bankers about its new examination procedures for the sale of nondeposit investment products, such as mutual funds and annuities. The FDIC, the American Bankers Association, America's Community Bankers and the Independent Bankers Association of America collaborated in this educational effort. (click here)


L. William Seidman




Ricki Helfer

May 2
In a letter to FDIC-supervised banks, the agency highlighted the basic risks of extending credit to consumers with incomplete or tarnished credit records who are unable to obtain traditional financing. A number of financial institutions involved in "subprime lending" were not properly assessing or con-trolling the risks and were suffering substantial losses, damaging some institutions' overall financial condition. The FDIC outlined general controls believed necessary to effectively manage those risks. (click here)

May 9
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued guidance on the activities necessary for insured financial institutions to make computer systems capable of recognizing dates in the Year 2000 and beyond. Most computers store dates with only the last two digits and cannot distinguish 2000 from 1900. Unless bank computer systems are corrected, institutions face substantial risks from faulty accounting and recordkeeping to system shutdown. (click here)



June 1

Andrew C. Hove, Jr., became Acting Chairman of the FDIC for the third time, succeeding Ricki Helfer, who left the Corporation after more than  two and a half years in the agency’s top job. (click here)

July 30
Acting Chairman Hove told Congress that FDIC-supervised banks are generally aware they face serious disruptions if their computer systems are not modified to handle transactions starting January 1,2000. However, senior management and outside directors may not have the in-depth technical knowledge to appreciate the extent of the risks posed by Year 2000 noncompliance. The FDIC is monitoring the situation closely and will take supervisory action, including enforcement action, if banks do not address the problem, Mr. Hove reported.
(click here)

August 7
The FDIC and the Office of Thrift Supervision teamed up to provide bank branch data on the Internet. With the new "Bank/Thrift Deposit Inquiry" service, this information is available to the public in one place for the first time. (click here)

 

November 17
The FDIC and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance jointly issued cease and desist orders against three affiliated Georgia banks in the government's first enforcement actions to address Year 2000 compliance in the banking industry. (click here)

November 21
The first BIF-insured institution failed in the U.S. since August 1996. This was the only bank failure in 1997. No SAIF-insured institution failed during the year. (click here)

December 9
The Board approved a 1998 budget of $1.36 billion for the agency, $255 million (16 percent) less than the amount planned for 1997. (click here)


Top: Former FDIC Chairman L. William Seidman discusses the
banking crisis of the 1980s and 1990s at a January 16 FDIC-sponsored symposium.
Bottom: Chairman Ricki Helfer left the agency's top post on June 1.

Last Updated 02/16/1999 communications@fdic.gov