Higher loan volumes and improving credit quality continue to spur first-quarter earnings increases for banks in the Midwest.

Norwest Corp., the nation's 13th-largest bank, with $61.8 billion of assets, said its earnings grew 13.8% during the quarter, to a record $216.8 million. Detroit-based Comerica Inc. reported a 10.1% rise in its net income, to $100 million.

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