Strong deposit and loan growth fueled third-quarter income at Signature Bank (SBNY) in New York.

Earnings rose 24%, to $47.7 million, from a year earlier, the $16.5 billion-asset company said Tuesday. Its earnings per share of $1 surpassed the 83 cents per share in the third quarter of 2011.

Signature reported net interest income of $141.7 million, up 20% year over year. The primary reason was a 19% increase in average interest-earning assets, to $15.8 billion. Yet the yield on interest-earning assets fell 18 basis points, to 4.25%, from last year because of the prolonged low interest rate environment.

Deposits reached $13.6 billion, an increase of 16% from Dec. 31. They "broadly funded robust loan growth," Scott A. Shay, Signature's chairman, said in a news release. Average loans, excluding loans held for sale, were $8.4 billion, an increase of 34% from a year earlier. Commercial real estate, multifamily and specialty finance loans were the primary drivers.

Noninterest expense rose 20%, to $54.9 million, from a year earlier. Salaries and benefits were $37.6 million, up 27% year over year. During the third quarter Signature added a private client banking team and a group director to an existing team. It said Friday that it had hired another private-banking team for its Garden City, N.Y., office.

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