Most Oregon banks earn first-quarter profit

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A spokesman for the agency that regulates the Oregon's financial industry says the economy is slowly improving and the health of state-chartered banks is doing the same.

Oregon Division of Finance and Corporation Securities administrator David Tatum tells The Oregonian (http://is.gd/7Ecwlm ) that the agency is guardedly optimistic that improvements are being made in the banking industry.

Oregon had 36 state-chartered banks in 2006 but is down to 29. During the first quarter of 2012, 25 of the banks posted a profit.

Analysts say a change in consumer sentiment or a delay in the country's economic recovery could change the situation for banks.

Regulators also say they're concerned about the exposure to commercial loans at Oregon banks.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com