Commerce Bancshares in Kansas City, Mo., is delaying the release of its fourth-quarter results while external auditors complete a review of its procedures for establishing its loan-loss allowance.

The $22.7 billion-asset company was scheduled to release fourth-quarter and year-end earnings on Thursday, but said late Wednesday that "heightened expectations and evolving practices related to this allowance has caused this unexpected delay." It gave no further detail and did not say when it expects to release the results.

Commerce earned $68.2 million in the third quarter as total loans increased 9% from the same quarter a year earlier, but its credit quality has weakened somewhat. Its chargeoffs in the third quarter climbed 15% year over year, to $7.7 million, while its loan-loss provision jumped 85%, also to $7.7 million.

Commerce recently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of the country’s best banks.

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