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Meredith Whitney at Oppenheimer & Co said that the loss ratios for the sector will exceed the 1.37 per cent registered at the peak of the early-1990s recession.
According to the expert, the full year ratio could even exceed 1.75 per cent, building from a first quarter loss of 1.25 per cent.
Speaking to the news agency, Ms Whitney added: "Bank losses will be the highest in the past 20 plus years as a result of greater numbers of individual defaulting on mortgages and other loans.
"[Defaults will be] of both higher frequency as well as greater severity.''
The Oppenheimer analyst has been consistently downbeat on banks' financial outlooks for 2008.
Last month, she estimated Citigroup's per-share loss for the first quarter to run as high as $1.15 - a prediction that has since been supported by evidence from Bloomberg ahead of the bank's announcement later this week.
Ms Whitney also reduced her 2008 earnings estimate for Wachovia from $2.70 to $1.70 yesterday, following disappointing first-quarter results from the investment bank.
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