Bank of America reported record earnings on lower costs and a better tax rate — only to see its shares drop as pressure builds to hike rates for depositors.
Like all the major banks, Bank of America has profited from the Federal Reserve hiking its benchmark interest rates, which permits them to make money by charging more for loans, while paying depositors next to nothing for their money.
On Monday, analysts seemed skeptical how long the bank can continue to do that as online banks — and even Goldman Sachs’ consumer bank — has began to offer competitive rates.
“We deliver a lot of value to depositors,” Paul Donofrio, BofA’s CFO, said during the call, citing online banking apps and transparency as some of the perks that clients get instead of interest.
He added there was a “lack of market pressure so far” as one of the reasons why depositor rates have yet to rise in about 10 years.
During morning trading, BofA’s shares rose as high as$30.25 before falling to a low of $29.63. Recently they were at $29.92, up 0.4 %.
The bank, led by CEO Brian Moynihan, on Monday reported $6.92 billion in profit, up 30 % from the same period the year before. The bank’s bottom line was boosted by $500 million less in taxes that the company had to pay, compared to last year.
The profit puts BofA in the same club as JPMorgan Chase, which said last week the first quarter of the year was its most profitable ever.
“We had a strong quarter, record earnings for our company,” Moynihan said on a call with analysts Monday morning.