United Community Banks in Blairsville, Ga., reported higher quarterly gains spurred by fee revenue.

The $9.9 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that its second-quarter net income increased 42% from a year earlier to $25.2 million, or 35 cents a share.

Noninterest income increased 36% to $23.4 million, thanks mostly to higher service charges and fees, brokerage fees and gains from sales of government-guaranteed loans. Small Business Administration lending and mortgage banking "each produced record quarterly results," the company said.

Net interest income rose 23% to $74.9 million. Total loans increased 21.5% to $6.2 billion. The net interest margin expanded by 5 basis points to 3.35%.

The second quarter included a $300,000 reserve release, which reflected "continued strong credit quality and a low overall level of net charge-offs," the company said. Net chargeoffs totaled $1.7 million in the second quarter.

Noninterest expense rose 20% to $58 million, primarily due to increases in salary and employee benefits and professional fees.

On July 1 United Community completed its acquisition of the $466 million-asset Tidelands Bancshares in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

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