TCF Financial (TCB) in Wayzata, Minn., posted higher quarterly results after reporting an uptick in lending for equipment purchases.

Earnings at the $18.2 billion-asset company rose 44% from a year earlier, to $23.6 million, or 15 cents a share.

Net interest income rose 16% from a year earlier, to $201 million, because of a shift in TCF's balance sheet that lowered borrowing costs. Total loans increased 9% from a year earlier, to $15.4 billion. The net interest margin expanded 87 basis points from a year earlier, to 4.79%.

 Noninterest income rose 2% from a year earlier, to $100.1 million. Revenue from leasing and equipment finance rose 41% from the fourth quarter of 2011, to $26.1 million.

 Noninterest expense rose 14% from a year earlier, to $214 million.

"TCF's building and investing year was highlighted by several key actions, including the balance sheet repositioning, growth of our national lending businesses and a return to TCF Free Checking," William Cooper, TCF's chief executive, said in a press release.

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