First Interstate Bancorp reported Thursday that it earned $64.5 million in the second quarter, reflecting sharply lower expenses and improved credit quality. The company reported an $80 million loss in the corresponding period a year ago.

Meanwhile, Bank of Boston Corp. provided further evidence that it, too, is on the mend. The company weighed in with a $62.4 million profit, compared with a $50 million loss the year before.

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