U.S. banks are enjoying their best profits in six years and are lending a bit more freely. The gradual improvement suggests that the industry will sustain its healing from the worst financial crisis in decades.
The industry earned $37.6 billion from July through September — a 6.6 percent increase from its earnings in same quarter last year.
For the first time since 2009, the stronger earnings were due mainly to higher revenue, data issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed Tuesday. And loans to consumers rose nearly 1 percent from the July-September period of 2011.