Strong growth in the investment services business of PNC Bank helped temper declines in lending and other units that rely on interest income, the parent of the Pittsburgh-based bank announced on Wednesday.

The Asset Management Group, which includes personal wealth management for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, raked in $362 million in revenue in the second quarter, up $22 million, or 6%, from $340 million in the same quarter the year before. 

The growth was driven by increases in the equity markets and sales production, the bank's CFO Robert Q. Reilly explained during the earnings call.  Reilly noted that revenue included fees from both the Asset Management Group and earnings attributable to PNC's interest in BlackRock.

The unit earned $53 million in second-quarter profit, a significant 47% jump from the $36 million it earned in the second quarter last year.  For the first half of the year, the unit made a total of $90 million, up 14% year-over-year, according to the earnings release.

At the end of June, the unit had $131 billion in assets under management, up by $14 billion from a year ago.

Brokerage services also had a good quarter, bringing in $61 million in revenue, a 5% increase from the $58 million it generated in the same quarter a year ago. For the first half of the year, brokerage services generated $116 million, up $16 million, or 5%, year-over-year.

"We saw strong fee income growth this quarter reflecting progress we continue to make against our strategic priorities," Reilly said during the call.

Overall, PNC's parent company earned $1.1 billion, or $1.85 in diluted earnings per share, in the second quarter, compared with $1.1 billion, or $1.98 in diluted earnings per share, in the second quarter last year.

"In summary, PNC posted a successful second quarter largely consistent with our expectations," Reilly said.

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