How profitable a bank is affects its safety and soundness. A bank can retain its earnings, giving a boost to its capital buffer, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, likely making the bank better able to withstand economic shocks. Conversely, losses diminish a bank's ability to do those things.
On Bankrate's earnings test, BankSouth scored 14 out of a possible 30, lower than the national average of 15.12.
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. BankSouth's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 6.20 percent, below the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank earned net income of $2.2 million on total equity of $35.0 million. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.29 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.