Community banks that aggressively go after fee-based services rather than cutting costs to make money might be missing the boat, according to a University of Minnesota study.

"For us it was a bit surprising that small banks weren't participating in the benefits" of fee-income growth, said Glenn Pederson, a professor of applied economics and one of the study's authors, in an interview. "A lot of small banks are trying to use (fee-income generators) as a strategy."

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