Led by a trio from the Mid-west, the nation's largest bank companies turned in their fifth consecutive quarter of improved returns on assets and equity in the first three months of the year, according to the American Banker's quarterly roundup of performance ratios.

Ohio's Fifth Third Bancorp, a perennial front-runner in the rankings, nabbed first place among the nation's 59 largest banking companies in terms of return on average assets, with a stunning 1.74%. The Cincinnati-based company also took ROA honors in the first quarter of 1992 with a 1.65% ratio.

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