Strong loan growth helped Wintrust Financial (WTFC) more than double its income in the second quarter to $25.6 million. It offset a surge in salaries and other employee-related expenses.

Earnings per share totaled 52 cents, beating estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by a nickel, the $16.6 billion-asset company said.

Total loans rose 14%, to $11.8 billion, year over year. Growth in the quarter was strong for the commercial, commercial real estate and commercial premium finance receivables portfolios. 

"Our loan pipeline for internal loan growth remains very strong," Edward J. Wehmer, the president and chief executive, said in a news release Wednesday. "Growth in net interest income should be positively impacted by this anticipated loan growth, incorporation of a full quarter of the Canadian commercial premium finance business, paying off our securitization in the middle of the third quarter and further deposit re-pricing opportunities on the funding side."

During the second quarter, the Lake Forest, Ill., company completed its acquisition of Macquarie Premium Funding, the insurance-premium funding unit of global banking giant Macquarie Group of Australia.

Wintrust reported strong deposit growth and stable credit quality measures, Wehmer said. Wintrust's provision for credit losses totaled $18.4 million, down almost 36%, while nonperforming loans fell more than 22%, to $120.9 million, year over year.

Total interest expense fell 25%, to $27.4 million, year over year. However, noninterest expense climbed 21%, to $117.2 million, mostly from a jump in salaries and employee benefits. These expenses have increased because of higher bonuses and commissions and from various acquisitions and additional staffing as the company grows.

Wintrust bought a failed bank in February and said in January that it would acquire a trust company. Last year it acquired an open bank, three failed banks, two mortgage banking operations and an asset manager.

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