UPDATE 1-BB&T 3rd-qtr profit rises on higher mortgage banking income

Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:58am EDT

* Third-quarter EPS $0.66 vs $0.52 a year ago

* Third-quarter mortgage banking income up 71 pct

Oct 18 (Reuters) - BB&T Corp's profit rose 28 percent in the third quarter as the regional bank earned more mortgage banking income.

Net income available to common shareholders rose to $469 million, or 66 cents per share, from $366 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Mortgage banking income jumped more than 71 percent to $211 million.

Customers have been refinancing their mortgage loans to take advantage of record-low interest rates. Boosted by the refinancing fees, mortgage banking income has gone up for most lenders.

In addition, analysts expect mortgage lending volumes to continue to rise owing to a Federal Reserve plan to buy up to $40 billion of mortgage bonds every month.

BB&T's noninterest income rose more than 39 percent to $963 million, helped by the surge in mortgage banking income as well as higher insurance income.

Insurance income rose $92 million from last year, mainly due to the acquisition of the life and property, and casualty insurance division of Crump Group Inc earlier this year.

Third-quarter revenue was up almost 16 percent at $2.48 billion.

BB&T was among the 15 large banks that passed the stress tests conducted by the Federal Reserve earlier this year.

The southeastern U.S. bank, which has a market value of more than $22 billion, emerged from the financial crisis as one of the strongest lenders in the region, avoiding many of the real estate problems faced by its peers.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co also posted record quarterly profits last week, helped by an improving mortgage market.

Shares of Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T, which have gained about a quarter in value so far this year, closed at $32.27 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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