Profits at Nebraska-based banks took a nosedive in the third quarter.

According to data released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., banks headquartered in Nebraska collectively earned $136 million in the third quarter, less than half the $283 million they earned in the same quarter last year.

Year-to-date earnings, which had been on track for their eighth straight record year, are now at their lowest level since 2014.

At least part of the decline is due to large drops in earnings at some of the state's largest banks.

For example, First National of Omaha, the state's largest bank, saw its third-quarter income fall from $102.4 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $46.5 million this year.

First National spokesman Kevin Langin said that decline was due to a one-time event — the sale of a credit card portfolio — that boosted third-quarter earnings in 2016.

Take away that one-time gain of $85.7 million, and First National actually did better this year during the third quarter.

The profit drop at some of the larger banks did not even account for half the drop, however.

There were some concerning trends in the state data, including year-over-year increases in the percentage of banks losing money, delinquent loans and non-performing loans, but Richard Baier, president and CEO of the Nebraska Bankers Association, said that other than continued low commodity prices, he couldn't put his finger on specific causes for decreased earnings at the state's banks.

Banks based in Lincoln generally had a good quarter, with six of the nine seeing higher earnings in the third quarter compared with a year ago.

Overall, the nine banks headquartered in Lincoln collectively earned $41.2 million in the third quarter, up about 5 percent from the $39.3 million they earned in the same period last year.

Nationally, the FDIC reported that banks had another strong quarter, with a 5.2 percent increase in earnings in the third quarter compared with a year ago.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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