WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks earned more from April through June than during any quarter on record, aided by a steep drop in losses from bad loans.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says the banking industry earned $42.2 billion in the second quarter, up 23% from the second quarter of 2012.

Banks' losses on loans tumbled 30.7% from a year earlier to $14.2 billion, the lowest in six years. And bank lending increased 1% from the first quarter. Greater lending helps boost consumer and business spending, leading to more jobs and faster economic growth.

Still, the report shows that the largest banks continue to drive the industry's profits while smaller institutions have struggled.


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