Business is clearly good again for the financial institutions that were rescued by American taxpayers just a few short years ago. Thanks in part to increased revenue from customer fees, U.S. banks’ profits soared to a record high for the first quarter of 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Wednesday. According to the FDIC, the banking industry earned $40.3 billion from January to March, the highest ever for a single quarter and a figure nearly 16 percent more than the same period a year ago.

The Associated Press via The Huffington Post:

Record profits show banks have come a long way from the 2008 financial crisis. But the report offered a reminder that the industry is still struggling to help the broader economy recover from the Great Recession.

Only about half of U.S. banks reported improved earnings from a year earlier, the lowest proportion since 2009. That shows the industry’s growth is being driven by a narrower group of the nation’s largest banks.

Those banks include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Most of them have recovered with help from federal bailout money and record-low borrowing rates.

Read more

— Posted by Tracy Bloom.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig