Profit at Bremer Financial Corp. fell about 11 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago to $21.4 million, although the St. Paul lender wound up the year with annual profit up nearly 13 percent at $91.5 million.

The bank said the full-year earnings increase was driven largely by setting aside less for bad loans.

Net interest income, after provisions for loan losses, fell 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter. The bank's noninterest income, such as fees and charges, rose 8.4 percent.

Bremer, one of the state's largest lenders, is a privately held company jointly owned by employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation.