Bank of America discloses record profit

Bank of America discloses record profit
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CHARLOTTE, NC (Deon Roberts/The Charlotte Observer) - Bank of America said it made a record $6.9 billion in profit during the first three months of the year, as the bank benefited from rising interest rates and a lower corporate tax rate.

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 marked the latest quarter in which the bank has received a boost from ongoing Federal Reserve increases in short-term interest rates.

Results were also helped by federal legislation passed in December that lowers the rate corporations pay on profits from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Bank of America said Monday's profit was the highest for any quarter in its history. In a statement, CEO Brian Moynihan attributed that 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. The bank trimmed noninterest expenses by $196 million, or 1 percent, from a year earlier. Employment fell less than 1 percent to 207,953.

The results come after other large U.S. banks on Friday reported their earnings for the first quarter.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.