WASHINGTON - Though commercial banks, particularly the largest ones, continue to post record earnings, federal regulators said Friday that the trend may not continue because profits are being propped up by one-time gains on asset sales and skimpy provisions for loan losses.

"It would appear that because of the nature of the activities that are feeding the revenues of the larger banks, it will not be continuing as we move forward," said Nancy A. Wentzler, director of economic analysis at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The outlook may be even worse for smaller banks.

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