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WINSTON-SALEM, NC-Mortgage loan production at BB&T Corp. has more than doubled in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period a year ago, the locally based community bank reports.

Through Sept. 30, BB&T originated $7.1 billion in mortgage loans, generating a 105.6% increase in mortgage banking income in the third quarter alone versus the same 2000 period.

Third-quarter commercial loans and leases increased $2.9 billion or 13%; consumer loans increased $511.9 million or 4.8%; mortgage loans increased $1.2 billion or 14.2%; and revolving credit increased $134.5 million or 17.6%.

Third-quarter earnings totaled $283.5 million or 62 cents per diluted share, up 14.2% over $248,174 posted in the same period last year.

The annualized return on average shareholders’ equity generated by third-quarter earnings, exclusive of nonrecurring items, was 19.05% versus 19.62% last year at this time. Third-quarter returns were 20% compared to 18.80% in third quarter 2000.

“Our loan growth has slowed and our levels of nonperforming assets and credit losses have increased as a result of the economic slowdown,” BB&T chairman/CEO John A. Allison says in a prepared statement. Still, he calls the company’s third-quarter results “solid…especially in light of the current challenging economic environment.”

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, BB&T’s net income was $812.4 million (up14.7%) or $1.77 per diluted share (up 14.2%), excluding after-tax nonrecurring items totaling $116.7 million.

Nonperforming asset levels and credit losses increased in the third quarter, as the bank anticipated. As a percentage of total assets, nonperforming assets increased to .45% compared to .31% at Sept. 30, 2000 and .43% at June 30, 2001.

Net chargeoffs amounted to .37% of average loans and leases for the third quarter and .35% year to date. Excluding losses at BB&T’s specialized lending subsidiaries, net chargeoffs for the third quarter and nine months respectively were .30% and .29%.

Allison says over the long term, BB&T’s net chargeoff ratios and relative levels of nonperforming assets have been better than industry averages. He says current levels are about half that of the most recently published industry results.

“We have maintained industry leading credit-quality levels in good economic times and recessions,” Allison says in his statement. “By applying a lending strategy focused on clients in our local markets through our community bank approach and by lending to clients with whom we have broad financial relationships, we have successfully managed credit risk.”

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