Brokerage income at M&T Bank increased in the first quarter, escaping the bad weather impact that seems to have hammered the banks other fee-based business lines.
In the first quarter of 2014, brokerage services generated $16.5 million in revenue, up from $15.7 million, or 5%, in the same quarter last year, the parent of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based bank announced Monday. Brokerage revenue was also up from the previous quarter, rising 4.4% from $15.8 million.
Trust income, however, was down 3.7% from the previous quarter and flat from the year before, generating $121.3 million.
Some portion of this decline is seasonal and we would expect to see a rebound in the coming quarters, in addition to the seasonally strong tax preparation fees we typically realize in the second quarter, Rene F. Jones, vice chairman and chief financial officer of M&T Bank Corp., said during the earnings call on Monday.
Jones noted that client activity slowed across most fee income categories in January and February, hitting everything from residential mortgages to wire transfers, but then picked up significantly in March. Our sense is that the slowdown was likely a temporary issue, he said.
Noninterest income, which includes trust and brokerage services as well as mortgage banking and other businesses, totaled $420 million in the first quarter of 2014, down 5.85% from the previous quarter and down 3% year-over-year.
Despite the slow start, Jones said he expects to see some improvement in fee-based revenue going into the second quarter. Our outlook for fee-revenue growth in 2014 remains in the mid-single-digit area, Jones noted during the call.
Jones added that expenses for fee-based businesses would rise as the pace of investments will remain high for the next couple of quarters, he said. Our goal is to be well-positioned in 2015.
Overall, M&T Bank Corp., the parent of M&T Bank, earned $229 million in the first quarter, or $1.61 per share, down from $274 million, or $1.98 per share, a year ago.