Synovus Financial in Columbus, Ga., reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on stronger interest and fee income.

Net income available to common shareholders at the $28.7 billion-asset company rose 10.3% from a year earlier, to $55.8 million. Its 43 cents per share met the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net loans rose 6.4%, to $22.2 billion. That increase helped boost net interest income 2.5% to $212.6 million, before the provision for loan losses, which fell 38.7% to $5 million. The net interest margin compressed by 16 basis points, to 3.18%.

Noninterest income rose 2.5% to $66.2 million. Service charges on deposit accounts rose 1.2%, to $20.5 billion, to complement gains in other-fee-income categories. Those increases helped offset a 15.5% decline in mortgage banking income, to $4.1 million.

Noninterest expense fell 1% to $183 million, though the fourth quarter of 2014 included $3.5 million in restructuring charges. Advertising costs dropped 54.6% to $3.7 million, foreclosed real estate expenses decreased 31.5% to $4.5 million and regulatory fees fell 16.5% to $6.8 million. The results also included a $1.5 million loss tied to the extinguishment of debt and $710,000 in litigation expenses.

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