* BZ WBK beats forecast with 20 pct rise in Q1 net profit
* Boosted by cutting price of deposits, lower provisions (Adds details)
WARSAW, Apr 29 (Reuters) - Polish lender Bank Zachodni WBK , a unit of Banco Santander, reported a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in first-quarter profit, thanks to higher net interest income and lower bad loan provisions.
The third largest Polish bank by assets said on Tuesday its net profit rose to 450 million zlotys ($148 million), above the 425 million expected by analysts polled by Reuters.
The bank cut its deposit costs, adjusting them to historically-low interest rates, while the improving economic environment helped its bad loans portfolio.
The lender’s net interest income rose in the first quarter by 15 percent year-on-year to 868 million zlotys, while bad loans provisions fell by 17 percent.
The bottom line was slightly better than expected because analysts had underestimated the positive contribution of BZ WBK’s insurance arm, a Warsaw-based analyst said.
$1 = 3.0391 Polish Zlotys Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Adrian Krajewski and Mark Potter