Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., said Thursday that its first-quarter earnings increased 7% from the same period last year, to $223 million, as strong commercial loan growth offset a dip in fee income. Earnings per share increased 8%, to 41 cents.

Citizens reported a 9% increase in net interest income, to $904 million, but said noninterest income fell 5%, to $330 million. Loans and leases increased 7% year over year, driven largely by commercial real estate and corporate finance. On the fee side, gains in deposit service charges and treasury solutions fees were offset by lower mortgage banking fees and a $7 million accounting change related to card rewards.

Total revenue increased 4% year over year, to $1.23 billion.

The company said the results included the transfer of $373 million of consumer loans from troubled debt restructurings to loans held for sale. Its nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans fell 13 basis points from a year earlier, to 1.07%.

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