|By Andrew Dunn, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.|
"Overall, we had a very strong first quarter," CEO
Mortgage banking income was more than double the same time period last year as volume spiked. The bank also posted higher-than-expected gains in its insurance segment.
Total loans grew 6 percent. Commercial and industrial loans, a barometer of business activity, were up 8 percent from the year before. Retail lending was up 7 percent, spurred mainly by continued demand for home equity loans.
The bank also had lower expenses on foreclosed properties, and credit quality improved.
But the bank's net interest margin, or the difference between what the bank earns on its loans and investments and pays to its depositors and lenders, fell slightly. Its total revenue also fell from the quarter before.
The bank's debit card fee income was roughly the same as it was last quarter, and down 40 percent from the year before, which
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|