The tax cut law signed by President Donald Trump helped boost bank profits to a record $237 billion last year, a 44 percent jump from 2017, the government said Thursday, the latest evidence of the law’s huge benefit to corporate America.
Lenders brought in $72.4 billion more in income in 2018 than the previous year, with $28.8 billion — or more than a third of that figure — attributable to lower taxes, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in its quarterly report on the industry.
Banks also earned more in interest last year, thanks to steady rate hikes from the Federal Reserve; net interest income was up 8.1 percent compared to 2017, as loan rates continue to rise faster than the rates those lenders pay out on deposits.
The American Bankers Association, which represents the industry, touted a 7.8 percent increase in lending to businesses over the year, compared to 4.1 percent growth in 2017. But overall lending — which grew a healthy 4.4 percent — rose at roughly the same pace as last year.
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