April 17, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 1:56 pm

Webster's 1Q profit up 13 percent on lending

Waterbury regional lender Webster Financial Corp. lifted its first-quarter profit 13 percent on increased loan and service fees and lower overhead.

For three months ended March 31, the parent of Webster Bank netted $38.3 million, or 42 cents a fully diluted share, up from $33.7 million, or 36 cents a share, netted the same period last year.

Webster said it issued more commercial non-mortgage and residential real estate loans in the latest quarter than a year ago, while taking fewer charge offs in its portfolio of bad loans and foreclosed property.

Noninterest expense fell to $126.6 million last quarter from $128.6 million a year ago, the bank said.

"Strong commercial and residential lending drove loan growth and higher non-interest income as we are winning new customers across our footprint,'' Chairman and CEO James C. Smith said in a statement.

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