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Breaking down the FDIC's Pennsylvania report

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. released its 2013 report for federally insured Pennsylvania banks this week and, while nothing was very surprising, it's very engrossing to a statistics dork like me.

Let’s hit the bullets for some of the more interesting information contained in the report:

• About 49 percent of all Pennsylvania banks (96 out of 196) in 2013 fell in the category of having between $250 million and $1 billion in assets; only 30 (about 15 percent) had more than $1 billion in assets. While it’s always under debate about what makes a community bank, I’ll go with the most common definition of $1 billion and under. That would make about 85 percent of all banks in Pennsylvania community banks. Plus, I know from talking to executives at banks that are just over the cusp of $1 billion in assets that they still consider themselves community banks and don’t intend to change that self-proclaimed designation any time soon.

• According to the most recent financial statements, the midstate has six of the 30 $1-billion-plus banks headquartered here — Fulton Bank, Susquehanna Bank, Metro Bank, PeoplesBank, Orrstown Bank and ACNB.

• If you followed along last fall, you know there was only one new bank chartered in Pennsylvania in 2013, and that it was the first bank chartered in the state in five years: The Bank of Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County opened Dec. 2. We all knew this, but it’s still a little jarring to look on the FDIC Pennsylvania profile page and see a very lonely “1” sitting there next to an even lonelier “0” for how many banks opened the previous year.

• The Harrisburg-Carlisle market, which includes Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, had the fifth-highest deposits of any market in the state in 2013 at $12.2 billion. That’s a little misleading, because the No. 1 market in Pennsylvania is the New York-Newark-Jersey City market.

Wait, what?

Believe it or not, tiny Pike County in northeast Pennsylvania is considered part of the New York City market. According to the FDIC, Pike County had almost $600 million in deposits in fiscal year 2013 — while the entire market had $1.3 trillion for the calendar year. It’s not the most accurate comparison, but if it’s OK with everyone, I’m just going to go ahead and overrule the FDIC and say the Harrisburg-Carlisle market had the fourth-highest number of deposits in 2013 for Pennsylvania.

OK? OK.

Incidentally, Philly, Pittsburgh and the Lehigh Valley were ahead of Harrisburg-Carlisle.

• Maybe this is more for staff reporter Jason Scott’s real estate blog, and maybe he’s already covered it, but after a year when the home price index fell by 0.7 percent in 2012, it rose 1.4 percent in 2013. It also rose 1.8 percent in 2013’s third quarter, and 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Anything even remotely looking like good news on the home-price front is happy music to my ears.

• It’s been a priority for the banking community to get rid of bad loans (something we all knew). Pennsylvania banks did a good job of it in 2013, reducing the median percentage of past-due and non-accrual loans to total loans from 2.71 in 2012 to 2.13 in 2013. That might not look like much, but say there are 1 million existing loans at Pennsylvania banks (I couldn’t find an actual number, but this is a conservative estimate). That would mean the banking community got rid of 5,800 bad loans in 2013. Not too bad.

Michael Sadowski

Michael Sadowski

Mike Sadowski covers Lebanon County, banking and finance, law and the legal community, and technology. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at michaels@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @MikeCPBJ. Circle Michael Sadowski on .

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