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U.S. banks lost $32.1 billion in fourth quarter

U.S. banks posted net losses of $32.1 billion in the last quarter of 2008, according to revised figures released late last week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Previously, the FDIC reported that the nation’s financial institutions had posted losses of $26.2 billion in the fourth quarter.

The FDIC said the new figures reflect “significant amendments” the agency received shortly after its original estimates were released last month. Banks’ revised figures show vastly higher non-cash impairment charges in the fourth quarter, the FDIC said, which impacted the financial sector’s net income and equity capital figures.

Net income for all of 2008 was revised down from $16.1 billion to $10.2 billion.

The decline in the banking industry’s equity capital for the final quarter of 2008 is now reported at $10.1 billion, up from $3.7 billion.

Banks made $575 million in fourth quarter 2007.

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