Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country’s largest lender by assets, announced first-quarter net profits of US$4.73 billion, up 77% year-on-year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Smaller rival Bank of Communications (BOCOM) saw its profits more than double to reach US$1.13 billion for the same period. Strong growth in interest and non-interest income was a key factor in both banks’ performances. As was the case for Bank of China’s surging profits, announced yesterday, the cut in income tax rates for commercial banks, from 33% to 25%, was also important to ICBC and BOCOM. ICBC said net interest income came to US$9.49 billion, up 36% year-on-year, while its net fee and commission income rose 86% to hit US$1.73 billion. BOCOM’s net interest income was US$2.36 billion and its net fee and commission income was US$294.89 million, increases of 50% and 70%, respectively. ICBC took a US$48 million charge to cover potential losses on its subprime holdings, which stood at US$1.21 billion at the end of March.