Comerica in Dallas reported broad loan and deposit growth in the third quarter, increasing net income 4%, to $154 million, from a year earlier.

The $65 billion-asset bank's loans grew 7%, to $47.2 billion, and deposits increased 6%, to $55.2 billion.

The pace of loan growth largely slowed late in the quarter because of seasonal factors, intense competition and general economic sluggishness, Comerica executives said.

Middle-market lending filled the majority of the pipeline, Chief Executive Ralph Babb said.

There are more competitors jumping into the market, both bank and nonbank, according to the executives. That is taking a toll on pricing competition and loan structures. Comerica is not stretching terms, they said.

Deposits grew in almost every business line, including middle-market, commercial real estate, small-business and retail banking, the company said in its quarterly results released Friday.

Net interest income was $414 million, up slightly from $412 million in the third quarter of 2013. That increase occurred despite a 12-basis-point drop in net interest margin to 2.67%.

Comerica's business and retail banking units boosted profits from a year ago, contributing to the higher overall earnings. The wealth management unit saw net income drop $2 million, however.

Analysts focused on the impact of potentially more volatile energy prices, especially given the bank's exposure in Texas.

Chief Credit Officer John Killian said the bank is not concerned about recent drops in energy prices. "We have seen lots of down [periods]," he said. "Ninety-five percent of the portfolio is secured, and most customers are well-hedged."

Middle-market energy lending grew to $3.3 billion, from $2.9 billion in the year-earlier period.

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