Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. was able to beat Wall Street's earnings expectations largely because of record deposit growth, said Dick Evans, the San Antonio company's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Both individuals and businesses are looking for a safe place so they don't have to worry," Mr. Evans said in an interview Wednesday. "We've had that reputation for over 100 years, going through the Great Depression and the 1980s' oil and real estate bust in Texas — which felt like a depression."

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