At the end of 2002, there were 37 insured banks in Delaware. Delaware was home to six of the nation's 41 insured credit card banks in 2002, including three of the nation's five largest. These credit card banks manage or hold one-third of total credit card loans nationally. Total assets as of September 2002 for Delaware's 37 insured institutions were $186 billion. Banking is Delaware's most profitable industry: 12% of jobs and 36% of the gross state product are represented by the finance insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors. Since 2001, however, FIRE employment declined steadily (as of 2003). As of late 2002, the median past-due loan rate increased, due to an increase in multifamily and construction loan delinquency rates, weakening credit quality among the state's insured institutions. The median net interest margin (NIM) (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) in 2002 was above the level in 2001, but as long-term interest rates reached historic lows, and short-term interest rates declined to a lesser extent, asset yields and funding costs declined.