PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh reported lower fourth-quarter profits on a decline in fees related to residential mortgages and deposit accounts.
Net income at the $359 billion-asset company fell 2.3% to $965 million, compared with a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 1.6% to $1.87. That was 8 cents better than the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Total revenue fell 2.4% to $3.85 billion.
Net interest income fell 0.2% to $2.1 billion, on lower purchase accounting accretion. Total loans rose 0.9% to $206.7 billion, with growth in commercial lending offsetting a decline in consumer loans. Commercial lending was boosted by an increase in multifamily agency warehouse loans. The net interest margin narrowed 19 basis points to 2.7%.
Fee income fell 4.8% to $1.76 billion. The drop was due to a 16% decline in residential mortgage fees and a 6% fall in deposit service charges. The fee income figure also fell because of an adverse year-over-year comparison; in the fourth quarter of 2014, PNC recorded a $94 million gain on the sale of its regional headquarters building in Washington, D.C., and another gain of $36 million on the sale of Visa common stock.
Noninterest expense fell 5.6% to $2.4 billion. Higher personnel costs were offset by lower legal and residential mortgage compliance costs. Additionally, PNC made a large charitable contribution in the fourth quarter of 2014, which helped with the comparison. The efficiency ratio improved to 62%.