Bancorp joined Bank of New York Mellon in posting encouraging first quarter results yesterday, with profit increasing almost 27 per cent. The results were helped by higher revenue from its fee-based businesses and slowing consumer loan losses. The Minneapolis-based bank reported earnings of $669m (£436m), or 34 cents a share, compared with $529m, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. The bank met analysts’ average earnings forecast of 34 cents a share. It reported loan losses of $1.1bn, unchanged from the fourth quarter and up from $788m in the 2009 first quarter. It set aside $1.3bn for further loan losses, up from $1.4bn in the fourth quarter.