WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks' earnings declined 7.7 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, as higher interest rates dampened demand for mortgage refinancing and reduced banks' revenue from the mortgage business.<br />
The data issued Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. highlighted the impact of the increase in interest rates that occurred in the spring of 2013.<br />
It was only the second time in the last 19 quarters that the banking industry, which has been recovering from the financial crisis, posted a decline in net income from the year-earlier quarter.<br />
The FDIC reported that the banking industry earned $37.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, down from $40.3 billion in the same period in 2013.<br />
The number of banks on the FDIC's problem list fell to 411 from 467.
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