First Republic Bank’s second-quarter earnings jumped 19.9% from a year earlier, as the institution ramped up lending to its wealthy clientele.
The $80.9 billion-asset company earned $641.3 million, or $1.06, missing by 3 cents the average estimate from analysts. The loan portfolio surged 21.3% to $57.4 billion, and net interest income grew 20.5% to $532 million.
“First Republic had a very good quarter, driven by strong growth of loans, deposits and wealth management assets,” Jim Herbert, the San Francisco company’s chairman and CEO and American Banker’s Banker of the Year in 2014, said in a press release issued Friday. “Credit quality remains excellent, and the bank continues to be well-capitalized.”
Loan originations increased by 12.1%—the bank’s second-best quarter ever—reflecting gains in single-family, construction and business loans.
At nearly $24 million, the provision for loan losses was surprisingly high and contributed to the miss, Jefferies analyst Casey Haire said in a research note. On a conference call, company executives said the large provision simply reflected the growth in loans. The allowance for loan losses increased by 7.4% to $338 million, but credit quality remained “pristine,” Haire said, with nonperforming assets accounting for a scant 0.06% of the total.
Expenses climbed 24% from a year earlier and up 4.75% from the first quarter to $397 million, though Haire noted that salary costs were flat from the previous quarter. The company attributed the rise in expenses to “higher business volumes across the board and higher ancillary costs with lending.” The biggest such item was an increase of $5 million spent on information systems.
The largest component of First Republic’s noninterest income is investment management fees, which increased by 24.7% to $68.8 million. The bank now manages more than $95 billion in assets, 25.9% more than a year ago.