We grew revenue 6%, while expense rose 1.5% for 4.5% of operating leverage compared to Quarter 2 2021. We also saw a 21% year-over-year improvement in NII. These earnings generated a return on tangible common equity of 14% and return on assets of 79 basis points. As a reminder, when comparing our earnings in the second quarter of '21 to the earnings this quarter, in the second quarter '21, we recorded two items of note.
And you can see that in the second quarter of 2021. This reflects in net new checking account openings, net new consumer investment accounts, net new household growth in Wealth Management, very strong loan growth across all products and good performance by global markets and investment banking teams, even given a quarter with volatile capital markets. Our expense management continues strong, and it benefits by the best digital banking platform in the world. Once again, we drove more users, saw more log-ins and usage, and that generated 20% more sales from the platform compared to last year.
Our asset quality remains very strong with net charge-offs in the second quarter of 2021 still 50% below pre-pandemic levels in late 2019 when credit was pretty good. Breaking down the performance by segment, I'd make a few comments. Our consumer banking segment continued to see good momentum as we grew loans at the fastest quarterly pace in nearly three years. We added more than 240,000 net new checking accounts in the quarter, in the second quarter alone.
We added more than 5,100 net new households across Merrill and private bank. Across our entire wealth platform, Merrill, the private bank; and our consumer investments team, Merrill Edge, client balances, including deposit investments and loans, totals $3.8 trillion at 6/30/2022, aided by nearly $150 billion of client inflows over the last year into those businesses. Our global banking team grew loans 5% linked quarter. That's 5% in a single quarter, 20% annualized.
3 investment banking market share ranking. In markets, we had a solid quarter of sales and trading results, growing 11% from last year ex DVA. Our macro FICC business, where we have been investing over the last couple of years, performed well, as did the equity derivatives, while the FICC businesses felt the effects of spread widening and customers taking a more risk-off position. From a broader enterprise, our P&L perspective, Quarter 2 expense was down modestly from Quarter 1, consistent with what we told you on our last call.
First, $5.9 billion of earnings, net of preferred dividends, which generated 36 basis points of capital. And looking at the chart, you can see how we use that. We grew loans by $38 billion. And with a decline in our global markets balance sheet and some loan sales and other balance sheet initiatives, we were able to hold RWA flat this quarter.
Moving beyond the third quarter, we should just remind you, our balance sheet growth last year means our G-SIB surcharge and CET1 requirement will move higher by 50 basis points beginning in 2024. And I just want to make sure we repeat that for clarity, it's 2024 because I know others have different time lines for their requirements. Given our additional higher G-SIB minimum over the next six quarters, we'll work to move above that expected CET1 minimum of 10.9% by January 1, 2024, and we'll look to exceed that with another 50 basis points of internal management buffer on top of that requirement. OK.
Consumer loans grew $10 billion linked quarter, led by both credit card and mortgage and also increases in auto and securities-based lending. And for the first time in years, home equity balances increased modestly. Card loans grew $5 billion from Q1, reflecting healthy spend levels even as payments rates remain elevated. Within our growth, our average FICO was 771, as you can see on Slide 23 in the appendix.
Second, we assume modest growth in loans and deposits. And third, we assume deposit betas reflecting disciplined pricing to achieve our growth. If those assumptions hold true, we can see NII in Q3 increase by at least $900 million, possibly $1 billion, versus Q2. And then we expect it to grow again at a faster pace on a sequential basis in the fourth quarter.
And the consumer bank earned $2.9 billion on good organic growth, delivering its fifth consecutive quarter of operating leverage. Strong top-line growth of 12%, driven by net interest income improvement, was more than offset by increase in provision expense resulting from the prior year's much larger reserve release. And while reported earnings were down, pre-tax pre-provision earnings for consumer grew 26% year over year, which highlights the earnings improvement without the impact of that reserve action. Card revenue was solid and increased modestly year over year as spending benefits were mostly offset by higher rewards costs.
Service charges were down nearly $200 million year over year as our previously announced insufficient funds and overdraft policy changes were in full effect by June. The third quarter will reflect the full run rate going forward, and we believe these changes are helping to improve overall customer satisfaction and further lower customer attrition. Expense increased 2%, as much of our increased salary and wage moves in the quarter impact consumer banking the most. And as revenue grew, we improved the efficiency ratio to 54%.
Lastly, once again, we opened over 1 million credit cards in the quarter, and we grew average active card accounts and saw combined credit and debit card spend up 10%. And as you saw earlier, we had solid lending activity with continued low loss rates. Our 43 million active digital users signed on this quarter a record 2.8 billion times, with our Erica users up 30% year over year, and we captured over 123 million total client interactions in the second quarter alone. You can see all the other digital metrics and trends on Slide 26.
Ending loans grew $18 billion linked quarter and are up $62 billion or 19% year over year. That loans growth and higher rates drove net interest income growth, which was able to offset the drop in investment banking fees, leaving revenues in the business fairly flat year over year. Also impacting revenue was half of the firm's $300 million leveraged finance valuation marks. The market turmoil and abrupt slowdown in the second quarter sparked a downturn in the leveraged finance markets, causing a number of the deals across various market participants to get marked down.
And as we usually do, we'll talk about the segment results, excluding DVA. Second quarter net income of $900 million reflects a solid quarter of sales and trading revenue. It was another quarter that favored macro trading, while the credit trading business has faced a more challenging market environment with widening spreads in the face of increased inflation fears and recession beliefs. Focusing on year over year, Sales and trading contributed $4 billion to revenue, improving 11%.
I mean as much as it's a strong projection going forward, we captured like $2 billion last year second quarter, this year second quarter. And I think a lot of it fell to the bottom line on an apples-to-apples basis.
Alastair, one of your peers has started to frame NII with regards to an exit rate in the fourth quarter. And as I'm just thinking about the rate sensitivity and the forward curve in your comments about loans and deposits and deposit repricing, obviously, you're alluding to $13.5 billion by third quarter. Is it possible by the fourth quarter, relative to everything that you're seeing going on in the company right now, that the exit rate for NII could approach $15 billion?
And it's less about underpromising and overdelivering, it's more about there's just a lot going on right now in the markets generally, and we'd prefer to be precise -- more precise about it. That's all. And I think all we're trying to convey though is we think the fourth quarter is going to be higher than the third quarter increase. And that's just something.
Got it. And then just one cleanup, last cleanup here. Premium [Inaudible] was about a $300 million helper to $0.6 billion. How much more improvement could you see? And is that built into your expectation for third and fourth quarter? 2b1af7f3a8