According to this article in the New York Times Dealbook, the sustained low interest rate environment is hurting the bottom line at Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Both banks, which recently failed the living wills test, say their first-quarter profits fell as they face “slumping oil prices, low interest rates and choppy financial markets,” writes Michael Corkery.
“Bank of America said earnings declined 13% from the quarter a year ago, to $2.7 billion, or 21 cents a share, dragged down by lower long-term interest rates and a slump in its sales and trading business. That compares with earnings of $3.1 billion, or 25 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts had been expected profits of 20 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.”
“At Wells Fargo, which derives the vast majority of its business from the United States, profit fell 5% to $5.5. billion, or 99 cents a share. Wells said its revenue grew 4% in the quarter, to $22.2 billion.”
Mortgage interest rates continued their downward trend in the last week, falling again to the lowest level of the year and the lowest level in nearly three years, Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed.
This marks the second week in a row that mortgage rates dipped to a new yearly low. Last week, Freddie Mac’s report showed that the 30-year mortgage rate fell 12 basis points to 3.59%, which was the lowest since February 2015.
Five of the nation’s largest banks are not prepared for a financial crisis and would need taxpayer bailouts, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced Wednesday.
According to multiple reports (including Reuters), the “living wills” of Bank of America,Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, State Street, and Wells Fargo are “not credible.”