Singapore-based DBS Group has reported a net profit of S$1.52bn ($1.1bn) for the first quarter of 2018, a surge of 26% compared to S$1.21bn ($913.7m) a year ago.

Pre-tax profit for the quarter ended 31 March 2018 was S$1.89bn, a jump of 25% from S$1.44bn in the corresponding quarter of 2017.

The bank’s quarterly total income stood at S$3.36bn, up 16% from S$2.88bn in the year ago quarter.

Compared to last year, net interest income increased 16% to S$2.13bn and net fee and commission income increased 12% to S$744m. Expenses during the period rose 12% year-on-year to S$1.4bn.

The bank’s consumer banking /wealth management unit posted pre-tax profit of S$627m for the first quarter of 2018, a rise of 17% compared to S$534m in the same period last year. The division’s total income increased 17% to S$1.36bn from S$1.16bn a year earlier.

The bank’s institutional banking arm posted a pre-tax profit of S$832m for the first quarter of 2018, up 10% from S$756m last year. The unit’s total income rose 3% year-on-year to S$1.36bn.

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DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta said: “With interest rates and allowance charges reverting to more normalised levels, and our capital base streamlined with the finalisation of regulatory requirements, the structural profitability of our franchise has been more clearly demonstrated with this quarter’s results.

“While we are keeping a watchful eye on how geopolitical trade tensions play out, the region’s economic fundamentals remain sound. Our pipeline is healthy and we expect to continue capturing business opportunities and delivering shareholder returns in the coming year.”