A bank's ability to earn money has an effect on its safety and soundness. Earnings may be retained by the bank, boosting its capital buffer, or be used to address problematic loans, likely making the bank better prepared to withstand economic shocks. Obviously, banks that are losing money have less ability to do those things.
First Citizens Bank beat the national average on Bankrate's test of earnings, achieving a score of 22 out of a possible 30.
Return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (essentially, profit) by the total amount of equity, is one key measure of a bank's earnings. First Citizens Bank's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 12.72 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank recorded net income of $18.4 million on total equity of $146.3 million. The bank experienced an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.49 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.