Webster Bank’s renewed focus on the wealth management business is starting to show. In the fourth quarter of 2012, wealth and investment services earned $7.8 million in non-interest income for the bank, a 36% jump from a year earlier and 9% increase from the previous quarter, the bank’s holding company announced today.

For the year, wealth and investment services contributed $29.5 million to Webster’s non-interest income, up 12% from $26.4 million the year before. Wealth and investment services accounted for 15.3% of the bank’s non-interest income, up slightly from 15% in 2011. 

For nearly a year, the bank has been behind a drive to expand the wealth management business. It rebranded the business Webster Private Bank, hired additional advice professionals as private bankers, and recruited an executive from BNY Mellon Wealth Management to lead the group of 50 wealth advisors and support staff.

Webster’s president and chief operating officer, Jerry Plush, listed the bank’s new retail and private banking office in Greenwich, Conn., which opened this month, among the bank’s significant achievements in the fourth quarter. “In 2013, we will continue to invest in additional improvements to our physical and electronic distribution network. This will make banking with Webster easier and convenient while meeting the changing preferences of our clients,” he said in a statement.

Webster Financial Corp., the bank holding company for Webster Bank, reported $47.9 million in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 21% from a year earlier and up 8% from the previous quarter.

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