Zions Bancorp. in Salt Lake City reported increased quarterly earnings that reflected higher net interest income.

The $59.2 billion-asset company said in a press release Monday that its profit rose nearly 5% from a year earlier to $78.8 million.

Net interest income increased 9% to $453 million. Loans held for investment rose 3%, to $40.8 billion, with widespread increases across products and geographies. Commercial loans were a particular area of strength, the company said in its release.

Zions reduced its credit exposure to oil and gas by 17% to $4.7 billion. The company said it expects further attrition of energy-related loan balances and commitments in coming quarters, though decreases will come at a slower pace. Energy-related loan net chargeoffs rose 50% from the fourth quarter, to $36 million, and were mostly in the oilfield services portfolio.

Noninterest expense increased 1% from a year earlier, to $396 million, as salaries and employee benefits climbed 6%, to $258 million. Its efficiency ratio improved to 68.5% from 71.9% a year earlier. Executives have pledged to lower its efficiency ratio to at least 66% this year.

Noninterest income remained flat from a year earlier at $117 million. Customer-related fees rose 7% to $112 million, mostly tied to credit cards, interchange and loans. Dividends and other investment income dropped 51% to $5 million.

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