Thrifts lost $3B in 4Q; post record annual loss

By: By DANIEL WAGNER, AP Business Writer
By: By DANIEL WAGNER, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. thrifts lost $3 billion in the fourth quarter and more than $13 billion last year, a record annual loss.

The Office of Thrift Supervision says net losses last year surged to $13.44 billion, from $649 million in 2007. But the fourth-quarter loss was actually better than the $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter.

Thrifts last year set aside $38.7 billion for losses on bad mortgages and other loans, the highest point since 1991, due mainly to increased mortgage delinquencies.

Troubled assets now account for more than 2.5 percent of assets, up from nearly 1.7 percent a year ago.

Thrifts are important to consumer lending because they must have at least 65 percent of their lending in mortgages and other consumer loans.

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