SunTrust Bank's wealth management businesses took a beating in 2015, according to the bank's latest financial results released on Friday.
In the final quarter of the year, revenue from trust and investment management services fell 6% to $79 million from $84 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was also off from the prior quarter, falling 8%. For the full year, trust and investment management services generated $334 million, down a significant 21% from $423 million in 2014.
The 8% sequential decline was due to seasonal fees earned in the third quarter as well as a drop in market value of assets under the management, the bank's parent explained in the earnings release. The 6% year-over-year decline was due largely to a drop in assets under management, it said.
In an email, the bank explained that the 21% decline in revenue for the full year was largely due to foregone revenue resulting from the sale of asset management firm RidgeWorth Capital Management in the second quarter of 2014.
At the end of 2015, the trust and investment services business had $43.1 billion in assets under management, down 8% from $46.8 billion in 2014.
The performance of the retail brokerage business was also disappointing. Fourth-quarter revenue from retail investment services dropped 3% to $71 million from $73 million a year ago. It was also down 8% from the prior quarter.
The 8% decline was due to both lower assets under management and reduced transactional activity, the bank's parent said in the earnings release.
For the full year, the retail brokerage business generated $300 million in revenue, up a modest 1% from 2014. Its assets under management also increased, rising 2% to $48.3 billion from $47.3 billion a year ago.
Overall, SunTrust earned $467 million, or 91 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with $378 million, or 72 cents per share, in the same quarter the prior year.
"Our solid performance in the fourth quarter and strong 11% earnings growth for the year are the result of consistent execution of our strategies and the diversity of our business model," William Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we will further advance our purpose of improving the financial well-being of our clients and communities, thus driving long-term value for our shareholders.
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