Big bank's profits plummet on soured loans

by Ryan Smith14 Apr 2016
The country’s second-largest bank reported a steep slide in quarterly profits, largely due to weak trading and souring loans.

Bank of America saw an 18% drop in quarterly profits, according to a Reuters report. That wasn’t necessarily unexpected – the first quarter was widely considered the worst for the banking industry since the financial crisis. Faltering commodity and oil prices, worries about the Chinese economy and interest-rate uncertainty meant a volatile market.

Bank of America’s revenue for the quarter was $20.9 billion, compared to $221.42 billion in the first quarter of 2015. The bank’s shares fell 20% during the quarter. Meanwhile, the money the bank set aside as a provision against loss rose 30% to nearly a billion dollars – largely due to expected losses on energy loans, according to Reuters.

Bank of America has been slower than the other big banks to recover from the financial crisis – mainly because of continuing problems with its Countrywide unit. Under the tenure of CEO Brian Moynihan, who took over in 2010, the bank has cut billions of dollars in its commercial lending, investment banking and wealth management units to compensate for slow revenue growth, Reuters reported. But it’s also paid out tens of billions of dollars in settlement money related to mortgages issued before Moynihan took the reins.


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