PrivateBancorp in Chicago reported higher earnings in the third quarter primarily thanks to loan growth.

The $15.2 billion-asset bank reported net income of $40.5 million, up 23% from a year earlier. Earnings per share of 51 cents beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 3 cents.

Total loans increased 11% year over year, to $11.5 billion, primarily driven by growth in commercial and industrial loans.

Net interest income jumped 10%, to $116.8 million, thanks to higher loan balances and lower credit costs.

Noninterest income of $30.7 million was boosted by a 58% increase in syndication fees that reached a record amount of $6.8 million. PrivateBancorp's net interest margin improved five basis points from last year, to 3.23%, as greater loan fees offset higher average deposit costs.

Noninterest expenses rose 9%, to $77.8 million, behind elevated salary and employee benefits as well as more marketing costs. However, the company reported fewer writedowns on foreclosed properties as expenses on these assets declined 63%.

The provision for loan losses dropped 52%, to $3.9 million.

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