April 16--Bank of America said it made a record $6.9 billion in profit during the first three months of the year as the bank got a lift from rising interest rates and new cuts to corporate taxes.
The Charlotte-based bank said Monday its revenue rose 4 percent to $23.1 billion, compared with $22.2 billion in the same period last year. It marks the latest quarter in which Federal Reserve increases in short-term interest rates have boosted the bank's results.
The quarter is also the first to show how the bank is benefiting from federal tax legislation passed in December that slashes the rate corporations pay on their profits. The bank reported paying $1.47 billion in income taxes, down more than 25 percent from the same quarter last year.
Monday's profit was the highest for any quarter in the bank's history, CEO Brian Moynihan noted. Moynihan, who took over the bank in 2010, attributed the performance in part to a growing global economy and strong U.S. consumer activity.
Monday's results also reflect Moynihan's continued focus on chipping away at expenses. Employment, which stands at 207,953, including about 15,000 in Charlotte, fell less than 1 percent.
Bank of America is the latest major U.S. bank to report first-quarter earnings.
New York's JPMorgan Chase said it earned $8.71 billion in the first quarter, or $2.37 a share, up from $6.45 billion, or $1.65 a share, in the same period a year earlier.
Citigroup, also based in New York, reported a profit of $4.62 billion, or $1.68 a share, compared with a profit of $4.1 billion, or $1.35 per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Wells Fargo said it made $5.9 billion in profit, or $1.12 a share, up about 6 percent from $5.6 billion in the same quarter last year.
But the San Francisco-based bank said those results might have to be restated because of expected fines from regulators over auto insurance and mortgage practices. Those fines from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could hit $1 billion, Wells said.
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