NPR logo Bond Trading Boosts Bank Of America's Profits


Bond Trading Boosts Bank Of America's Profits

Bank of America said today that it made more than $3 billion in profits in the first quarter, despite losing more than $2.1 billion in its home loans unit.

It pulled off that trick because, besides being country's biggest bank, B of A is also in the business of trading bonds, currencies and commodities. And that business — a far cry from traditional banking — is going great.

B of A's Global Banking and Markets group turned a profit of $3.2 billion in the first quarter, on revenues of $9.8 billion, driven by what the bank called "record performance in sales and trading." Most of the group's revenue — $5.8 billion — came from trading and selling bonds, currencies and commodities.

This is a familiar story. Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase — the country's second-biggest bank — said most of its first-quarter profits came from its investment banking division, which made a lot of money trading bonds. The profit more than made up for the loss posted by JPMorgan Chase's "retail financial services" group.

Here's more on B of A's earnings from the WSJ, Bloomberg and the NYT.