BOSTON, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sovereign Bank, N.A. today announced a 35.3% increase in net income with $368 million for the first nine months of 2012 versus $272 million for the previous nine months of 2011. Sovereign also reported its eleventh consecutive quarter of profitability with net income of $123 million for the third quarter of 2012. "We continue to invest in core areas of the bank which are leading to growth and our eleventh consecutive quarter of profitability," said Jorge Moran, Sovereign Bank President and CEO. "We continue to see strong loan production in mortgages, small business banking and corporate banking and continuous improvement in asset quality. Our growth in lending is a result of our continued focus on supporting the growth of small and large businesses in New England, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic." Lending Continues to Grow, supporting Economic Growth Sovereign Bank had a strong quarter in loan production in the areas of residential mortgages, small business lending and corporate banking. Total loan production for the third quarter of 2012 was $5.2 billion, a 51% increase over loan production during the third quarter of 2011. Outstanding total loan balances grew by 2.6% during the first three quarters of 2012 to $53.0 billion. Sovereign Bank continues to focus on home ownership with residential mortgage production up 44% in the third quarter of 2012 when compared to the same quarter in 2011. Sovereign Bank's commitment to invest in small businesses is a key component of the bank's strategy to support growth within our communities and generate economic activity and employment. Lending to small businesses has grown by 9% year-to-date through September. The industry is trending at 2% annual growth.