Bank Mutual reports earnings increase

Brown Deer-based Bank Mutual Corp. reported first quarter net income of $2.8 million, or 6 cents per share, up 11.7 percent from $2.5 million, or 5 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2013.

The bank attributed the higher earnings to increased net interest income and lower compensation-related expenses, provision for loan losses, federal insurance premiums and net losses and expenses on foreclosed real estate.

Net interest income was $17.1 million, up 5.9 percent from $16.1 million in the same period last year.

Offsetting the earnings bump were lower net mortgage banking revenue, lower income from bank-owned life insurance and a non-recurring charge related to state income taxes.

“Our net interest margin improved for the seventh straight quarter due to continued improvements in our earning asset and funding mixes,” said David Baumgarten, president and chief executive officer. “Also impressive was a nearly 12 percent decline in our total non-interest expense to a level that we believe we can sustain through the remaining quarters of 2014. Our performance in the first quarter was also impacted by continued improvements in asset quality, which reduced the amount of loss provisions we recognized. Assuming that recent trends continue, as well as our assessment of economic conditions in our local markets, we are reasonably confident that the loss provision during the remainder of the year will continue to be lower than it was in 2013, although we cannot provide assurances.”

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