Wealth management revenue, profits climb at U.S. Bank despite surge in DoL costs

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U.S. Bank's wealth management businesses turned in a robust year-end performance, according to the bank's financial results released on Wednesday.

The Minneapolis-based bank generated $569 million in fourth-quarter revenue from wealth management and securities services, up a notable 19% from the same period a year ago and up 5.8% from the prior quarter. For the full year, the business line reeled in $2.1 billion, up 16.2% year-over-year.
Fourth-quarter profits were even more impressive, soaring 57.4% to $107 million from $68 million a year ago. For the full year, wealth management and securities services earned $379 million, up a remarkable 56.6% from $242 million in 2015.

The year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter was due in part to an increase in trust and investment management fees, reflecting lower money market fee waivers along with account growth, an increase in assets under management and improved market conditions, the bank said in the earnings release.

Fiduciary rule implementation costs, which contributed to a 6.9% year-over-year increase in noninterest expense, are expected to level off in the second and third quarter, the bank's CFO, Terry Dolan, said during the earnings calls.

"We're investing heavily into it," Richard Davis, the bank's chairman and CEO, said of the fiduciary rule implementation, adding that the bank has a "great partner" and the "right solution." "No matter what happens in Washington, we would do this anyway," he said.

The bank's wealth management and securities services are delivered through five distinct businesses, including U.S. Bancorp Wealth Management. The services range from private banking, investment and retail brokerage to financial advisory, insurance, trust, custody and fund servicing, according to the earnings release.

Of the five businesses, U.S. Bancorp Wealth Management was the second leading revenue generator, bringing in $189 million, or 33.2% of the total $569 million posted in the fourth quarter. Revenue from wealth management was up 3.8% year-over-year and up 1% from the prior quarter.

Overall, U.S. Bank's parent company earned $1.5 billion, or 82 cents per diluted common share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $1.5 billion, or 80 cents per diluted common share, in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, the bank earned $5.9 billion, or $3.24 per diluted common share.

"I'm proud of our record fourth-quarter and our full-year 2016 results," Davis boasted during the call.

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Earnings Richard Davis Terry Dolan U.S. Bank