Bank of America posts loss on mortgage settlement

Bank of America posts loss on mortgage settlement

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets, reported a small quarterly loss applicable to common shareholders on Wednesday, largely due its record $16.65 billion mortgage settlement with the U.S. government in August.

The bank posted a net loss attributable to shareholders of $70 million, or 1 cent per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a year-earlier profit of $2.22 billion, or 20 cents per share.

Net income including preferred stock dividends fell to $168 million from $2.5 billion.

Analysts had expected the bank to post a loss of 9 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the reported figure was comparable.

The bank's shares were up 0.4 percent at $16.59 in premarket trading. Up to Tuesday's close, they had risen 5.3 percent since the start of the year, making then the second best performer in KBW index of bank stocks .BKX after Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N).

We saw solid customer and client activity and improved profitability in most of our businesses relative to the year-ago quarter, Chief Executive and Chairman Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

Fund managers and analysts have said the settlement, tied to the bank's purchases of Countrywide Financial Corp in July 2008 and Merrill Lynch & Co six months later, may finally allow the company to put last decade's housing bubble behind it.

Bank of America is the fourth of the Big Six U.S. banks to report third-quarter results. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) were also hit by big legal expenses.

Bank of America's litigation costs rose to $5.6 billion in the latest quarter, from $4.0 billion in the second quarter and $1.1 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

Bank of America has so far agreed to pay about $70 billion to resolve legal disputes related to the financial crisis - more than double the amount JPMorgan has agreed to pay.

Firmwide investment banking fees rose 4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier to $1.4 billion.

Bond trading revenue, excluding accounting adjustments, rose 11 percent to $2.2 billion as market activity picked up in September. Citigroup's revenue from fixed income trading rose 5 percent, while JPMorgan's increased 2 percent.

Equities sales and trading revenue increased 6 percent to $1.0 billion on the same basis.

Profit in the bank's largest business, retail banking, rose 3.9 percent to $1.86 billion, driven by lower provisions for credit losses. The business includes credit cards.

Profit from wealth and investment management rose 12.9 percent to $813 million as asset management fees rose 19 percent to a record $2 billion.


Bank of America posts loss on mortgage settlement

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