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Banks Post Profits On Higher Interest Rates

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Bank profits continue to rise. A report out by the FDIC says bank earnings for the first quarter of this year rose 13 percent. That's on top of what was already a record setting year in 2016. Higher interest rates account for most of the gains.

Higher interest rates make it easier to meet profit goals. That and a growing economy has brought the number of troubled institutions down below pre-recession levels. James Chessen, chief economist for the American Bankers Association, says despite the revenue, banks still need Washington's help to roll back regulations.

"Yes the industry is profitable and that's a good things for communities, but it doesn't mean there has not been an impact on banks and particularly their customers.'"

Republicans in Congress often characterize small community banks as drowning under a flood of government paperwork. According to the FDIC, profits at community banks grew by 10 percent so far this year.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.