Norwest Corp. breaks out profits from its mortgage division in its earnings statements. Not many large banks do that. Then again, Norwest is one of the few banks that may want to showcase their mortgage units' performance.

Profit has been tough to come by in the highly competitive mortgage banking industry. But in 1996, net income from Norwest's mortgage unit increased 19%, reaching $125 million, a record for the division. The mortgage unit accounted for 11% of the Minneapolis-based banking company's total profits.

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