More than half of regional banking companies missed third-quarter profit estimates due to the recession and tight credit conditions, according to an earnings summary Monday.

"A challenging operating environment continued to plague banks in the third quarter, as earnings results for the quarter unveiled great disparity," analyst Melissa Roberts of KBW Inc.'s Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. wrote in a research note. "Credit also remains in focus as headwinds persist."

The latest quarter was the fifth consecutive period in which more than half the banks missed analysts' estimates.

Regional banks are being pressed by rising loan losses, and their exposure to commercial real estate loans is a growing problem. Net chargeoffs, nonperforming assets and provision ratios rose in the latest quarter across all regions and capitalizations, according to KBW.

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