Webster Financial (WBS) in Waterbury, Conn., reported lower fourth-quarter profit after taking a big charge tied to the Volcker Rule.

The company's earnings fell 14% from a year earlier, to $41.1 million. Earnings per share of 45 cents were 5 cents lower than the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income rose 5% from a year earlier, to $153.9 million, largely because of a 6% increase in loan growth. The net interest margin was flat from a year earlier, at 3.27%.

Noninterest income fell 16% from a year earlier, to $44.3 million. The decrease was primarily because of a $7.3 million impairment charge for investment securities. The company provided few details, though it noted that the charge was tied to the Volcker Rule.

Noninterest expense rose 3% from a year earlier, to $126.6 million.

The loan-loss provision rose 20% from a year earlier, to $9 million, though Webster said it was a function of loan growth. Compared to a year earlier, commercial classified loans fell by 38%, past-due loans declined by 29% and nonperforming assets decreased by 13%. Net chargeoffs fell 15% from a year earlier, to $14 million.

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