St. Louis Banks Rebound

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St. Louis banks nearly doubled their profits in the first half of the year as loan defaults decreased and mortgage refinancing grew.

For the more than 70 banks chartered in the St. Louis area, profits nearly doubled to $111.3 million, compared with $56.3 million for the first half of 2011.

But low loan demand and stricter standards threaten future profits.

“Earnings are up due to (residential) refinancing income and banks making smaller provisions for loan losses, but I don’t think that will continue, absent increased loan demand,” Thomas Holloway, president of the Bank of Edwardsville, said in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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