Marshall & Ilsley (NYSE:MI) isn't your normal, run-of-the-mill, "borrow at 3, lend at 6, hit the golf course by 3" bank. Sure, this Wisconsin-based company has a very respectable banking franchise, but it has a data and financial processing business as well.

For the recently completed quarter, the bank reported net income that was more than 18% higher than the year-ago quarter, but only 13% higher on a per-share basis because of some dilution. Results were fueled by an 11% increase in net interest income and a 19.2% increase in non-interest income, along with some improvement in operating efficiency.

As with most banks, Marshall & Ilsley's net interest margin shrank a bit, from 3.42% last year to 3.27% this quarter. The culprit here is no secret or surprise -- competitive pressures are pushing up deposit costs but keeping a lid on the rates that can be charged for new loans. On a more positive note, credit quality is still quite good, and the percentage of non-performing loans to total loans declined.

Because of ongoing strength in commercial lending, average loan balances for the quarter were up about 18% over last year. Residential real estate lending was also very strong on a comparative basis but made up less than 20% of lending. On the other side of the balance sheet, deposits rose 7% as the company continued to balance its need for new funds with discipline on pricing.

Metavante, the bank's data processing and services business, had more than 19% revenue growth for the quarter, but much of that amount came from acquisitions. Underlying growth here appears to be more on the order of mid-single digits as the company continues to build the business. Nevertheless, new contracts with the likes of First Bank of Miami, SunTrust (NYSE:STI), and UMB Financial (NASDAQ:UMBF) won't hurt.

While a potentially cash-rich business like Metavante won't hurt things at all, this is still mostly a bank. In fact, it's the largest retail bank based in Wisconsin. Although metrics such as net interest margin and return on assets don't really stand out here, Marshall & Ilsley is producing solid growth, has a decent dividend, and doesn't look terribly expensive. Sure, some will be put off by the need to build Metavante, and others may fear competition from the likes of US Bancorp (NYSE:USB) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), but long history shows that this one is at least worth watching.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).

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