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Profits at the nation’s black owned banks last year plunged to a nine-year low, newly released data shows.

The annual statistics, compiled last month by William Michael Cunningham, senior investment adviser at Creative Investment Research Inc., a Washington D.C. firm specializing in minority banking, illustrated a major decline as some black owned banks suffered big losses tied to securities-related investments.

Buddy Howard, president and banking analyst at Equity Research Services Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, said black owned banks, much like the majority of banks, were under intense profit pressures in 2008, and these pressures have extended into 2009. “It was one of the most challenging years the entire industry has had in many years, with earnings pressured by tighter margins, severe asset quality problems and anemic loan demand, which has negatively impacted earning asset growth,” Howard said.

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