Higher interest rates, loans lift Bank of America profits

A Bank of America sign is displayed outside a branch in Tucson, Arizona January 21, 2011. — Reuters pic
A Bank of America sign is displayed outside a branch in Tucson, Arizona January 21, 2011. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, April 16 — Bank of America reported a jump in first-quarter earnings today on strong performance in key businesses thanks in part to a lift from higher interest rates.

Net income for the quarter ending March 31 was US$6.5 billion, up 34.2 per cent from the year-ago period.

Revenues climbed 3.9 per cent to US$23.1 billion.

Like other large banks, Bank of America enjoyed a lift from higher interest rates, which enables financial institutions to score increased profits from the margin between its deposits and loans.

Overall loan levels were up solidly from the year-ago period, a sign that the large US bank is benefiting from strengthening macro conditions.

Bank of America’s global markets business experienced similar trends to other large banks that reported last week, with equity trading surging higher and offsetting weakness in fixed income and currency trading.

Leading bank executives said last week that stock market volatility that translated into higher commissions in equities was largely absent in bond trading.

“Strong client activity, coupled with a growing global economy and solid US consumer activity, led to record quarterly earnings,” said Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan.

Shares of Bank of America rose 0.8 per cent to US$30.03 in pre-market trading. — AFP

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