U.S. Bancorp, one of the 10 largest U.S. banks, said quarterly profit fell 65 percent to its lowest level since 2001, as it took a $253 million securities write-down.

The results indicate how the recession and credit crisis have also affected lenders that were once considered to be relatively conservative.

The Minneapolis-based bank reported net income applicable to common shareholders of $260 million, or 15 cents per share, down from $927 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Chief Executive Richard Davis expressed confidence that it can overcome the credit crunch, which has caused credit losses to rise and banks' share prices to drop.

Getting the housing situation fixed will be the first remedy, he said in a conference call.

Make no mistake, consumers and businesses are spending less, they're traveling less, and they're watching their nickels and dimes, he added.

Fourth-quarter profit fell to $330 million, or 15 cents per share, from $942 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Net revenue rose 1 percent to $3.62 billion.

Analysts on average expected profit of 18 cents per share on revenue of $3.6 billion, Reuters Estimates said.

In morning trading, shares of U.S. Bancorp were down $3.08, or 20.08percent, to $12.26.