Signature Bank in New York reported record profits in the first quarter as strong loan, asset and deposit growth more than offset increased expenses and deterioration in its portfolio of taxi-medallion loans.
The company said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 25% from the same period last year, to $104 million. Earnings per share increased 20%, to $1.97.
Signature attributed the earnings gains largely to a 22% increase in earning assets, to $35.9 billion. The asset growth largely came from a surge in commercial real estate and multi-family loans, which helped to boost average loans by 32% year over year, to $24.4 billion. A 17% increase in deposits, to $28.1 billion, helped to fund that loan growth.
Net interest income increased 25% year over year, to $278.3 million.
Credit quality weakened during the quarter, with nonaccrual loans more than tripling, to $105 million, year over. Signature said that taxi-medallion loans accounted for much of that increase. The company boosted its provision for loan losses by 151% year over year, to $19.8 million.
Total expenses increased 13% year over year, to $92.3 million, mostly due to higher salary and benefit costs.