FirstMerit Corp. in Akron, Ohio, reported third-quarter earnings of $31.7 million, up about 9% year over year, thanks to increased commercial lending activity and fewer problem assets. Earnings per share were rose 7%, to 29 cents, beating analysts’ estimates by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters.

The $14.7 billion-asset company said that the 5.6% increase in average loans not covered by loss-sharing agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was driven entirely by a 12% rise in commercial loans year over year, to $4.9 billion.

Meanwhile, nonperforming assets declined 22% year over year and 9% from the second quarter, to $90.4 million. The allowance for noncovered loan losses totaled $109.2 million, down 6% from a year ago.

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