Investments in cost control and noninterest income sources continue to pay off for First Bank System Inc., as the Minneapolis-based banking company reported second quarter earnings of $137.9 million, a 17.8% jump from a year earlier.

A 30.3% increase in credit card fees, combined with higher ATM transaction volume, improved mortgage banking results and a 1.8% decline in noninterest expense were key to the improved results, said Richard A. Zona, First Bank's vice chairman and chief financial officer.

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