US banking giant Wells Fargo has reported slightly higher earnings as loan and deposit growth offset the effects of lower revenues from leading mortgage categories. 

Wells Fargo opened second-quarter earnings season for big banks with profits of $5.7 billion, up 3.8% from the same time last year. 

The bank's executives have been bullish on the momentum in the US economy and they pointed to continuing signs of improvement today.

"By continuing to serve customers we grew loans, increased deposits and deepened our relationships," said Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf.  

"Our results also reflected strong credit quality driven by an improved economy," he added. 

Total loans came in at $828.9 billion, up $2.5 billion from March, with commercial loans rising by more than $10 billion and consumer loans dropping $7.6 billion.

Total average deposits were $1.1 trillion, up 9% from a year ago. 

Credit quality also continued to improve as the bank faced fewer unpaid loans. Credit losses were $717m compared with $1.2 billion in the year-ago period.

But Wells, the nation's largest mortgage lender, said revenues from mortgage applications and originations were lower than a year ago. 

Wells Fargo results translated into per-share profit of $1.01, meeting analyst expectations. 

Revenues of $21.07 billion were 1.5% below a year ago, but slightly above the $20.82 billion projected by analysts.