Oregon's community banks are enjoying a banner 1997, thanks to a bustling state economy and the continued fallout from two mammoth bank mergers.

Oregon's 40 community banks held $4.03 billion of deposits on Sept. 30, 20% more than a year earlier, and loan portfolios were up 17%, to $3.1 billion. Return on assets topped the national average for all banks and thrifts, by 1.72% to 1.22%, in the first half, as did return on equity, by 15.64% to 14.47%.

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