Third-quarter profits at Fifth Third Bancorp rose as higher rates overshadowed a decline in lending, and a further reduction in its stake in the payments company Vantiv provided a boost.

The Cincinnati company nearly doubled earnings year over year to $1 billion, according to a press release Tuesday that detailed its quarterly results.

Macro boost
A 19-basis-point increase in Fifth Third’s net interest margin boosted profits

Net interest income climbed 7% to $977 million as the net interest margin jumped 19 basis points to 3.07%.

However, total loans declined 2% to $92.6 billion amid the company’s ongoing effort to reduce risk and boost profitability in its commercial lending book by divesting some credits. Total assets were about $142 billion as of Sept. 30.

Noninterest income surged 86% to $1.6 billion. Excluding the impact of the gains on its August sale of Vantiv shares, the line item would have dipped 4%, mostly from lower service charges and corporate banking revenue.

Noninterest expenses, meanwhile, were flat from a year earlier, at $975 million.

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