While loan growth and improving credit quality have fueled gains in net interest income, declines in noninterest revenues kept earnings in check at Midwest banks.

First Chicago Corp., with $72.4 billion in assets, posted a less than 1% gain in first-quarter earnings, to $195.1 million. National City Corp., Cleveland, said its earnings rose 7%, to $111 million, while Kalamazoo, Mich.-based First of America Bank Corp. reported that noninterest items led net income to fall 18.7% in the quarter, to $46.4 million.

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