SunTrust Banks in Atlanta reported higher third-quarter earnings on improved fee income from its investment banking unit, mortgages and card fees.

Net income at the $187 billion-asset company rose 21% to $433 million, or 81 cents per share. Additionally, SunTrust recorded a $130 million tax benefit in the quarter, which added 25 cents to earnings per share.

Net interest income after a provision for credit losses rose 1%, to $1.1 billion, on higher loan balances. The net interest margin fell 16 basis points to 3.03%.

Fee income rose 15% to $780 million on higher revenue from trading, retail investment services, mortgage servicing and card fees.

SunTrust booked the $130 million tax benefit as a result of completing a tax-authority examination.

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