Commerce Bancshares Reports Rise in REO on its Books

While Commerce Bancshares reported higher earnings in the third quarter, the company also reported that problem assets rose from the second-quarter level.

Specifically, real estate-owned increased to $2 million from $1.8 million three months earlier at the bank.

The bank reported having over $8 billion of loans on its books at the end of the third quarter, including nearly $3.6 billion of real estate loans.

David Kemper, chairman and CEO of Commerce Bancorp, said in a statement released by the company that asset quality remains good and "exceeds peer averages with net charge-offs for the third quarter at 0.48% of average loans and the reserve for loan losses at 1.67% of outstanding loans."

The company reported total assets of $13.6 billion as of Sept. 30. The allowance for loan losses totaled $133 million, equal to 410% of nonperforming loans, the company said.

But Commerce Bancorp still reported record earnings of $2.22 per share for the first nine months of the year, up 6.2% from the year before.

For the third quarter, the bank earned $51 million, or $0.77 per share, compared to $50.4 million and $0.73 per share in the third quarter of 2002.

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