SAN FRANCISCO - Union Bank, the U.S. retail banking unit of Bank of Tokyo, said net income more than doubled to $28.9 million for the fourth quarter compared with $12.4 million for the same period a year ago.
Earnings for the year were down 9.4% to $75.3 million. Fourth-quarter earnings per share nearly tripled to 73 cents per common share compared with 27 cents a year ago, while earnings for the year fell to $1.80 from $2.11.
Kanetaka Yoshida, president and chief executive, emphasized that the $16 billion-asset bank has made steady progress reducing the level of nonperforming loans, mainly through loan sales.
Like other California banks, Union was hard hit by a sharp rise in nonperforming real estate related loans over the last few years.
However, the bank said nonperforming assets totaled $177.5 million, or 1.06% of total assets, down by $102.6 million from September 30, and by $559 million since yearend 1993.
Also contributing to the improvement in earnings was a slight rise in net interest margins to 5.34% from 5.04% in the third quarter and an ongoing decline in credit expenses.
Fourth-quarter net interest income rose 12% to $198 million while noninterest income fell 29% to $51 million.