Two of the biggest banks in the United States say their quarterly profits plunged more than 90 percent due to bad loans and credit losses.
Bank of America Corporation said Tuesday, that its net profit fell 95 percent in the fourth quarter of last year to $268 million. The nation's second largest bank had posted a net profit of more than $5 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Wachovia Corporation, the fourth-biggest U.S. bank, reported a 98 percent drop in net income over the same period to $51 million.
The earnings of both banks are much lower than analysts had expected.
Major U.S. banks have sharply reduced the value of their loan portfolios as the weak U.S. housing market and slowing economy raise the number of borrowers who default on repayments.
Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg, AP and Reuters.