Today's reserves could be tomorrow's profits for some banking companies, if the economy and regulators cooperate.

Heavy reserving has cut the industry's profits during the recession. But analysts say that financial giants like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. could book sizable gains by winding down their massive reserves in 2011 and 2012. Regional banks are not as likely to see such a bounce, though, because they tend to have lower reserves than the largest lenders and deeper problems in home and business lending.

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