Net income at Bank of Montreal, Canada's fourth-largest bank, rose almost threefold year over year, to C$657 million (U.S. $636 million), for the three months that ended Jan. 31.

The Toronto company said loan-loss provisions were C$333 million (U.S. $322 million), down from C$428 million (U.S. $414 million) a year earlier.

Net income at Bank of Montreal's investment bank, BMO Capital Markets, rose 40%. Net income at its domestic-banking franchise rose 28%.

One troubling aspect is that consumer impairments, outside of mortgages, continue to rise, Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in a note.

Net income from its problematic U.S. personal and commercial unit fell 43%, to U.S. $16 million, as impaired loans increased. Adjusted cash net income was U.S. $35 million, adjusting for the impact of impaired loans.

Deposits grew 5.2%, to $1 billion, primarily because of year-over-year growth of more than 80% for both mortgage and auto loans. The company said it is seeing the beginning of a recovery in the Midwest market.

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