Mercantile's profits increased in quarter

April 11, 1991|By Kim Clark

A boom in deposits and continued improvements in income from interest pushed up profits for Baltimore-based Mercantile Bankshares Corp. in the first quarter of the year, the company announced yesterday.

Mercantile, a holding company that owns 20 small bank companies in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, said that its net profits rose 4 percent over last year's first quarter to reach $18.5 million at the end of last month. Earnings from loans and fees each rose 6 percent, but an increase in expenses ate up some of the improvement.

The company said the amount of money it was holding as deposits for customers rose 12 percent in the first three months of 1991.

One of the few consistently profitable large bank companies in recent months, Mercantile hasn't been going out of its way to attract deposits by advertising or offering high interest rates, said Suzanne Wolff, a spokeswoman.

Glen Grabelsky, a banking industry analyst for Standard & Poor's Corp. in New York, said that Mercantile is probably drawing customers from more financially troubled banks in the region.

"They have performed well in a tough market," he said.

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