Bank of America first-quarter profit falls 45% due to virus pandemic

The amount of money Bank of America set aside for loan losses nearly quintupled from a year ago, from $1.01 billion to $4.76 billion. (AP)
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Updated 15 April 2020

Bank of America first-quarter profit falls 45% due to virus pandemic

  • Like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, Bank of America had to set aside billions of dollars to cover potentially bad loans
  • BofA is a large credit card issuer and has a massive consumer banking business

NEW YORK: Bank of America reported Wednesday that its quarterly profits dropped by 45 percent from a year ago, the latest major bank to say it took a hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, Bank of America had to set aside billions of dollars to cover potentially bad loans. Many of these loans were fine only weeks ago, but the pandemic has caused companies to shutter and millions of Americans to be put out of work.
The amount of money BofA set aside for loan losses nearly quintupled from a year ago, from $1.01 billion to $4.76 billion. The losses came from the bank’s consumer lending division — BofA is a large credit card issuer and has a massive consumer banking business. The bank also reserved for bad loans in its lending division to businesses.
Despite the hit, BofA’s results were notably stronger than rivals JPMorgan and Wells, who both saw steeper profit declines and proportionately set aside more money to cover loan losses. It’s a change from the Bank of America of the Great Recession, which was one of the worst actors of the crisis and needed substantial taxpayer assistance to absorb its poor decisions.
“Ten years ago, we set out to transform our business and operate under the principles of responsible growth so we would be a source of strength in the next crisis,” said Paul Donofrio, the bank’s chief financial officer, in a statement. “Our results this quarter reflect our progress.”
The Charlotte, N.C. based bank said it earned a profit of $4.01 billion, or 40 cents a share, down from $7.31 billion or 70 cents a share, a year earlier. The results missed analysts’ expectations, however forecasts for the banks varied widely due to the fact the pandemic happened suddenly.


Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

Updated 22 January 2021

Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

  • ‘The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero’
  • ‘We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period’

DUBAI: Iran has achieved record high exports of petroleum products despite US sanctions, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in televised remarks on Friday.
Zanganeh said former US President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had “joined the dustbin of history, but we are alive and working with more hope to build the country.”
“The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero,” he said.
“We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period.”
Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions on the Iranian energy and banking sector.
It is estimated that Iran exports less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), compared with a peak of 2.8 million bpd in 2018.
US President Joe Biden has said that if Iran resumed strict compliance with the nuclear agreement — under which it restrained its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions — the United States would too.
However, two of Biden’s top national security nominees said on Tuesday that the United States was a long way from making a decision to rejoin the deal.
Iran has significantly increased exports of petroleum products in recent years although oil products, like crude, fall under US sanctions.
Unlike crude oil, where the ultimate buyer is a refinery, other products can find their way to potentially thousands of small-scale industrial or residential buyers, making them difficult to trace.