Net interest income combines interest on loans that the bank collects and interest on deposits and debt that the bank pays out. It is a measure of the bank's ability to profit from its lending.
For the full year, Fifth Third reported net income of $1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 2011. After preferred dividends, net income available to common shareholders was $1.5 billion, or $1.66 per share, up from $1.1. billion, or $1.18 per share in 2011. Kabat said it was the second-highest yearly net income level in company history.
Fifth Third's business has rebounded in the aftermath of the nation's financial and housing crisis that hit particularly hard in key markets in Florida and Michigan. In September, Fifth Third raised its third-quarter dividend to 10 cents per share. Its dividend had been cut to 1 cent per share in late 2008.
Fifth Third has more than 1,300 banks in 12 states: Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to this story,