Quarterly profit at the U.S.' second largest bank sank as low lending rates pulled down interest income. Fred Katayama reports.
The low interest rate environment hammered Bank of America. Quarterly profit sank nearly 18 percent at the U.S.' second largest bank. Low lending rates pulled down net interest income. The bank tried to beef up its bottom line by slashing expenses - shutting down branches and cutting jobs. Revenue also fell. But as with its peers, revenue from fixed income trading in currencies and bonds surged. B of A has a big exposure to the energy sector that had been battered by low crude oil prices. But it cut its energy-related losses in the quarter. Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski noted that net charge offs fell from the previous quarter, saying, "Importantly, credit quality also remains outstanding." Bank of America's bottom line easily beat Wall Street's lowered expectations. Its shares, which have underperformed its rivals this year with a 19 percent decline, inched higher in early trading.