WASHINGTON — Banks notched another quarter of significant profits, and showed further signs of life in the lending sector, but a government report on second quarter earnings once again raised the question of how long the good times will continue to roll.

Although the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s banking update released Tuesday showed institutions of all types moderately growing their loan balances, their earnings were mostly due to reduced loss provisions. Indeed, the continuing level of low interest rates raised concerns over just how much banks can thrive on lending growth in the future.

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