Commissions boost Intesa SanPaolo's Q1 profit

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MILAN (AP) — Intesa SanPaolo says first-quarter earnings nearly doubled due to record growth in fees and commissions, boosting Italy's second-largest bank to its strongest quarter in six years.

The bank on Monday reported a net income of 1.064 billion euros ($1.2 billion), compared with 503 million euros in the same period last year. Intesa SanPaolo said the earnings exceed business plan targets.

Net fees and commissions rose 15 percent to 1.8 billion euros. The bank cut spending, reducing operating costs by 10 percent in the quarter.

Provisions for bad loans dropped to 755 million euros, the lowest since 2011, reflecting the improved credit trend. The bank said it had loaned 8 billion euros to families and businesses during the quarter, helping 3,500 companies return to performing status.

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