How profitable a bank is affects its long-term survivability. Earnings may be retained by the bank, expanding its capital cushion, or be used to deal with problematic loans, potentially making the bank better prepared to withstand financial trouble. Obviously, banks that are losing money are less able to do those things.
Branch Banking and Trust Company exceeded the national average on Bankrate's test of earnings, achieving a score of 18 out of a possible 30.
One key way to measure a bank's earnings is return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (essentially profit) by total equity. Branch Banking and Trust Company's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 8.47 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank recorded net income of $2.40 billion on total equity of $27.84 billion. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.12 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.