Wintrust Financial Corp. (WTFC) in Rosemont, Ill., reported a rise in second-quarter profit thanks to higher fee income and lower interest costs.

The $17.6 billion-asset company reported Tuesday a quarterly profit of $34.3 million, 34% higher than in the second quarter of 2012. Per-share earnings were 69 cents, beating the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 8 cents.

Wintrust's net interest income rose 6%, to $135.8 million. Interest expense fell 24%, to $20.8 million, while interest income rose less than 1%, to $156.6 million. Net interest margin tightened by 1 basis point, to 3.50%.

Noninterest income rose 24%, to $64 million. Income from mortgage banking rose 24%, to $31.7 million. And Wintrust recorded a $3.3 million trading gain after a trading loss of $928,000 in the year-prior period.

Wintrust's provision for loan losses declined by 26%, to $15.4 million, and net chargeoffs fell 6%, to $18.4 million.

Compensation expenses rose 16%, to $79.2 million, helping to push Wintrust's noninterest expenses up 9%, to $128.2 million.

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