Fueled by strong loan and deposit growth, BBVA Compass in Birmingham, Ala., said Thursday that its first-quarter profits climbed 4% from the same period last year, to $114 million.

The $73.3 billion-asset company, a unit of Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, said that total loans were up 15% from prior year levels, to $52.8 billion. Chief Executive Manolo Sanchez attributed the growth to robust demand for commercial and industrial loans.

Deposits increased 9% to $57.1 billion, driven by a 19% uptick in noninterest bearing deposits, while noninterest income rose 38%, to $203 million.

Additionally, noninterest expenses declined 5% from the prior year, to $519 million, due primarily to a A 63% dip in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. indemnification expenses and a 22% drop in amortization of intangibles.

Earnings were also aided by improved credit quality. The company said that net chargeoffs as a percentage of average loans fell 10 basis points year over year, to 0.24%.

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