How profitable a bank is has an effect on its safety and soundness. Earnings can be retained by the bank, giving a boost to its capital buffer, or be used to deal with problematic loans, likely making the bank more resilient in tough times. However, banks that are losing money have less ability to do those things.
American Express Bank, FSB. beat the national average on Bankrate's test of earnings, achieving a score of 30 out of a possible 30.
Return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (profit, basically) by the total amount of equity, is one important way to measure a bank's earnings. The most recent annualized quarterly return on equity for American Express Bank, FSB. was 32.04 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank earned net income of $1.97 billion on total equity of $6.12 billion. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 3.82 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.