Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) is reporting second quarter net income of $55.6 million, up from $33 million during the same period last year. The banking company says total expenses in the quarter were unusually low and reflected a $2.3 million deferral of salary expense related to PPP loan originations.

Additionally, expenses were low due to a $1.1 million reduction in bonus accruals and a $1.6 million decrease in processing fees related to termination of a debit card rewards program.

“Our management team is pleased with our record setting second quarter net income,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Hardwick said. “It’s very satisfying to achieve great financial results while serving our clients and communities. Our healthy levels of loan growth, earning asset growth, credit quality, capital levels and efficiency will lead us into the future. I am proud of our teammates for staying focused on our goals and continuously finding ways to win for our stakeholders.”

The banking company says net-interest income for the quarter totaled $104.3 million, an increase of $11.2 million from the second quarter of 2020.

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