Wilmington Trust posts $720 million loss for 2010

The Wilmington bank, which lost $209.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, hopes to complete its merger with M&T Bank in the second quarter of 2011.

Wilmington Trust’s chief executive officer Donald Foley says he’s pleased with the company’s progress toward it’s merger. As for the company’s earnings report, Foley says, “Negative credit trends continued to drive losses in the fourth quarter, but core deposit balances trended higher, our liquidity position strengthened.”  

He says the poor economy hindered those positives from having more of an impact on the company’s earnings.  “These positives were offset by a decline in net interest income and compression in the net interest margin, as well as the effects of difficult economic conditions in Delaware, which continued to challenge many of our commercial borrowers.”

Wilmington Trust announced its plans to merge with M&T on November 1, and on that same day announced a third quarter loss of $365 million.  The fourth quarter loss marks the bank’s seventh straight quarter in a row the bank has reported a loss.  At that time, Foley was pessimistic on the outlook for an economic rebound.  “It appears to us that their is no significant economic or real estate recovery on the horizon.  This gives us little assurance that our loan portfolio will strengthen significantly in the near term,” he said.

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