A range of items contributed to an increased fourth-quarter profit at Northern Trust, including higher fees for trust services, credit-quality improvement and the beneficial impact of higher short-term interest rates.

The $124 billion-asset Chicago custody bank’s net income rose 11% to $255.7 million from the same period in 2015. Earnings per share rose 12% to $1.11. Revenue rose 7.3% to $1.2 billion.

Bloomberg News

Noninterest income rose 6% to $917.1 million. Northern Trust reported higher trust, investment and other servicing fees from new business wins and favorable equity markets. Fee income was also aided by the near-elimination of waivers on money-market mutual fund waivers as waiver costs fell from $12-7 million to $100,000 year over year.

Income from foreign exchange trading rose 10% to $58 million due to higher client volume and trading volatility. Assets under custody and administration rose 10% to $8.5 trillion and assets under management rose 8% to $942 billion.

Noninterest expenses rose 6% to $873.9 million on higher performance-based incentive compensation and salaries and other factors.

Net interest income rose 12.1% to $324 million from better profit margins and an increase in earning assets, due to the rise in short-term interest rates. Northern Trust also benefited from an 18% decline in its allowance for credit losses, to $192 million.

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Andy Peters

Andy Peters

Andy Peters writes about regional banks, consumer finance and debt collections for American Banker.