BNY Mellon joins other US banks in beating expectations in its first quarter

 
Billy Bambrough
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Curtis Arledge, the previous Bank of New York Mellon head of asset management, left the company in February (Source: Getty)

Bank of New York Mellon has posted a five per cent increase in first-quarter profit due to heavy cost cutting and the US interest rate hike in December.

Profit rose to $804m (£557m), or 73 cents a share, from $766m, or 67 cents, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 67 cents a share, according to a Bloomberg poll.

Total revenue was down by two per cent to $3.7bn for the period.

The largest part of BNY Mellon's business comes from managing client investments and serving trillions in assets for money managers and other clients.

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The bank's share price is flat on the last 12 months, but has climbed by more than 10 per cent since the start of the year.

Gerald Hassell, chairman and chief executive officer, said:

We are intently focused on enhancing the client experience and driving further efficiencies. Our business improvement process has enabled funding for important strategic investments for regulatory compliance and risk management excellence, technology and servicing platform improvements, and the delivery of new solutions for our clients.

Hassell has worked to bring down costs at the New York bank by selling its 1 Wall Street headquarters, and streamlining the IT and technology platforms.

However a stronger dollar, especially against sterling, has weighed on BNY due the extent of the bank's business in Europe.

The bank's assets under management fell by 4.5 per cent over the period to $1.64 trillion. They were up 0.9 per cent from the fourth quarter however.

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Much like other global banks it's been hit by emerging market weakness, rising regulatory burdens and capital requirements and low-for-longer interest rates.

The bank has been under pressure from activist investor Trian Fund Management, after it built up a three per cent holding in BNY Mellon.

Trian's co-founder Ed Garden sits on the bank's board of directors and thinks it is performing worse than rivals in terms of profitability though praised Hassell's reforms at a recent shareholder meeting.

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