Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the WSFS Financial Corporation Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions]
I would now like to [Indecipherable] today's conference call, Mr. Dominic Canuso, Chief Financial Officer. Sir, you may begin.
Dominic C. Canuso
Thank you, Kevin. And thanks to all of you for taking the time to participate on our call today. With me on this call are Rodger Levenson, Chairman, President and CEO; Art Bacci, Chief Wealth Officer; Steve Clark, Chief Commercial Banking Officer; and Rick Wright, Chief Retail Banking Officer.
Before Rodger begins with his remarks, I would like to read our Safe Harbor statement. Our discussion today will include information about our management's view of our future expectations, plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from historical results or those indicated by these forward-looking statements due to the risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the risk factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our most recent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q as well as other documents we periodically file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All comments made during today's call are subject to the safe harbor statement.
With that read, I'll turn the discussion over to Rodger Levenson.
Thanks, Dominic. And thanks everyone for joining us on the call. WSFS had a very solid third quarter reporting earnings per share of $1.01, return on assets of 1.49% and return on tangible common equity of 16.61%. As detailed in the release and earnings supplement posted on the Investor Relations section of our company website, this performance was a direct result of our diversified business model and the incredible dedication of our over 1,800 highly engaged associates who have responded admirably to the challenges of the pandemic and related economic recovery.
Core pre-provision net revenue of $68 million represented a 7% increase over the prior quarter and translated into a very healthy 1.98% of assets. A highlight was our core fee income, which grew 13% on a linked quarter basis, driven by strong performance in our mortgage and wealth businesses. This fee income growth occurred even with the impact of Durbin, which became effective on July 1st.
As outlined in the supplement on Slide 6, our fee income is very well diversified and provides earnings stability and capacity through interest rate cycles. Loan and deposit growth reflected the current economic environment. Deposit growth was of particular note even when excluding regular seasonal municipal deposit levels. Our net interest margin of 3.66% contracted 27 basis points in the quarter, primarily as a result of excess liquidity related to these high levels of customer deposits and lower purchase loan accretion. Core expenses were flat on both the linked quarter and year-over-year basis. The core efficiency ratio was 57.1%. While we remained focused on disciplined expense management, we continue to make significant investments in our franchise, including our delivery transformation and talent acquisition throughout the organization.