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Nebraska banks followed up their record performance in 2018 with a record first quarter.

The state's banks earned a combined profit of $254 million in the first three months of the year, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

That's $24 million -- a little more than 10% -- more than the first quarter of 2018, which was the previous record for the first quarter. It also comes after Nebraska banks collectively booked $1 billion in profit for the first time ever last year.

The statewide results were considerably better than the performance of banks nationally, which earned $60.7 billion in the first quarter, up 8.7% from a year ago.

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Nebraska banks performed better year-over-year in almost every financial category, with big jumps in assets, loans and deposits, gains in yield and net interest margin and declines in non-performing assets and charge-offs.

There were a couple of areas of concern, however. The percentage of state banks that lost money rose to 3.57% in the first quarter, up from 2.87% a year ago, and only slightly less than 58% of banks earned more money than they did last year, down from nearly 75%.

Six of the nine banks that are headquartered in Lincoln had bigger profits in the first quarter than last year. However, Pinnacle Bank and Union Bank & Trust, which dwarf the other Lincoln banks, saw their earnings decline.

Because of that, overall earnings for the nine Lincoln banks fell to $38.8 million in the first quarter, down from $43.6 million a year ago.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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