Signature Bank in New York said Tuesday that it had earned $30.3 million in the fourth quarter, up 44% from a year earlier.

Earnings of 72 cents a share, beat the average of analysts' estimates by 8 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

The $11.6 billion-asset company said its net interest income rose 26.6% from a year earlier, to $95.9 million, as average earning assets grew by a similar percentage. The net interest margin edged up 2 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.5%.

Positive results were partially offset by higher credit costs. Signature took a loan-loss provision of $13.6 million, nearly a 15% rise from a year earlier. The bank said the increase was due to higher net chargeoffs, which totaled $14.6 million in the quarter, including $10 million for a commercial and industrial loan.

Signature said the chargeoff was prompted by an overdraft involving a "Canadian check-clearing incident which we are disputing."

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