WASHINGTON — The banking industry logged a solid period of growth in the third quarter, with earnings rising 12.9% from a year earlier to $45.6 billion, a boost driven primarily by a strong increase in net interest income, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"The banking industry reported another positive quarter," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in remarks prepared for delivery. "Revenue and net income were up from a year ago, loan balances increased, asset quality improved and the number of unprofitable banks and 'problem banks' continued to fall."

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