ROAs Keep Arkansas Banks Most Profitable in District

Arkansas banks remained the most profitable among all district banks in the fourth quarter of 2013 with higher return on average assets than the national average, a recent economic report shows.

The numbers were part of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ "Burgundy Book" report released Thursday.

Arkansas banks of the Fed's Eighth District saw a 1.23 percent percent return on average assets, which is actually down from a year ago, compared to 1.01 percent nationwide and 1.03 percent in the district. 

State banks also saw an increase on average net interest margins (NIM), 4.23 percent and a decrease in loan loss provisions, 2.08 percent. The report blames the slight drop in ROA on "substantial increases" to non-interest expenses and a drop in non-interest income.

While non-performing loans continue to drop across the country, Arkansas banks saw a higher non-performing loan ration, 2.08 percent, than inside the district, 1.77 percent, and in the U.S., 1.82 percent, which is said to be the effect of various mergers and acquisitions of failing banks by Arkansas institutions.