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Wintrust profits soar 144% to record $153.1 million in first quarter
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Paycheck Protection Program

Wintrust profits soar 144% to record $153.1 million in first quarter

Wintrust profits soar 144% to record $153.1 million in first quarter

Wintrust operates Dyer Bank & Trust in Dyer.

Wintrust Bank reported a record profit of $153.1 million, or $2.54 per share, in the first quarter, as compared to $101.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

The Rosemont-based bank, which has branches in Dyer, Lansing and across the south suburbs, saw its earnings per share soar by 56% as compared to the fourth quarter and by 144% as compared to the first quarter of 2020.

"The first quarter of 2021 was characterized by strong loan growth, increased net interest income, record mortgage banking revenue, a release of reserves as our credit quality and macroeconomic forecasts improved and a continued focus to increase franchise value in our market area," CEO Edward Wehmer said.

Wintrust increased its assets to $601 million in the first quarter.

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Video filmed by Kale Wilk and produced by Scotia White. Interview by Anna Ortiz.

The bank grew its loans by $515 million in the first three months of the year. It originated $1.3 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans, generating fees of $51.2 million.

Paycheck Protection Program loan originations fell by $667 million largely as a result of forgiveness payments. About 42% of PPP loans from last year have been forgiven, another 40% are in the review process, and 18% of loan recipients haven't applied for forgiveness.

"The company experienced strong loan growth in the first quarter of 2021, including growth in its commercial, commercial real estate, residential real estate loans for investment and life insurance premium finance receivable portfolios," Wehmer said. "The loan growth occurred in the latter part of the quarter as total period end loans, excluding PPP loans, were $523 million higher than average total loans, excluding PPP loans, in the first quarter of 2021. Our loan pipelines remain strong and we expect to leverage our various core and niche portfolios to continue to grow loans."

Deposits grew by $780 million, largely as a result of non-interest bearing deposits from PPP loan origination.

"We continue to emphasize growing our franchise, including gathering low-cost deposits, which we believe will drive value in the long term," Wehmer said. "Our loans to deposits ratio ended the quarter at 87.6% and we believe that we have sufficient liquidity to meet customer loan demand."

Wintrust increased net interest income by $2.5 million, investment securities by $1 billion, and $26.7 million in mortgage banking revenue.

"We have actively participated in the latest rounds of PPP approved in 2021 and as of April 16, 2021 have processed over 7,900 applications aggregating in excess of $1.3 billion of loans," Wehmer said. "We are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic including its potential impact on the economy, our customers and our business. We remain focused on navigating the current environment by actively monitoring and managing our credit portfolio."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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