Bank of America, Wachovia report profits increases

24 January 2007

Two of the US's largest financial institutions, Bank of America and Wachovia, have announced significant increases in their fourth quarter profits.

Bank of America saw profits rise by around 47 per cent compared with the same period last year - up to $5.26 billion compared with $3.57 billion.

That performance helped profits for the year rise by 28 per cent to $21.13 billion, with the bank's chairman and chief executive Kenneth Lewis commenting: "Bank of America had another strong year in 2006."

He added that the good results were due to improved retail and business banking operations, as well as working hard in capital markets.

"When you combine listening to customers to understand their needs with our advantages of scale, innovation and execution, it creates a powerful value proposition that wins in the marketplace," Mr Lewis said.

Meanwhile, the US's fourth largest bank Wachovia reported a 35 per cent increase in profits, with a growth in income from fees and the recent acquisition of Golden West Financial cited as important factors.

Commenting on the results in an interview with Reuters, Wachovia's chief executive Ken Thompson said that all four of its business lines had "really good momentum".

"Although credit costs are rising, this largely reflects [loan] growth, including our re-entry into the credit card business," he told the news agency.

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