You must spend money to make money, the saying goes. Analysts just wish community banks would spend a lot less.

Expenses remained stubbornly high at small banks during the second quarter, despite efforts to make cuts. Noninterest expense at banks with $40 billion or less in assets was, on average, flat with a year earlier, at $29.7 million, according to American Banker analysis of 345 banks and thrifts. Those costs edged up 1% from the first quarter.

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