American Savings Bank May Net $181.2 Million for 1991


American Savings Bank, the once-ailing thrift purchased from government regulators in 1988 by a group headed by Texas billionaire Robert M. Bass, is expected Monday to report a profit of $181.2 million for 1991.

The results, scheduled to be disclosed in filings to federal regulators, keep American among the nation's most profitable thrifts, even though its net earnings are down 27% from the $247.6 million reported in 1990.

The drop in earnings was expected because, under the complex agreement Bass made with regulators, American's tax burden increases each year.

In 1989 and 1990, American posted the largest profits of any thrift in the nation. This year that honor goes to Beverly Hills-based Great Western Financial, which reported 1991 net earnings of $298 million.

American, which does not have to announce its results because it is private, earned $37.8 million in the fourth quarter, down from $72.9 million a year earlier. American is based in Stockton, but has a large part of its operations in Irvine.

The Bass purchase of American, as well as a number of other 1988 thrift acquisitions arranged by regulators, have been criticized frequently in Congress as being too generous for buyers. Bass representatives are now negotiating a possible restructuring of the deal with federal regulators.

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