Bank of America returns to profit

US giant Bank of America today revealed it returned to profit in the first three months of 2010 as the sector's recovery gathers pace.

BoA reported first quarter net income of $3.2bn (£2.1bn) against losses of $194m in the final three months of 2009.

Its profit cheer follows better-than-expected figures from fellow Wall Street major JPMorgan Chase earlier this week, when the group posted a 54 per cent hike in profits.

The strong start to America's bank earnings season has spurred on UK listed banks, with part-nationalised player Royal Bank of Scotland the biggest beneficiary today.

RBS shares soared more than 8 per cent - to the highest level for six months - thanks also to a positive note from broker Morgan Stanley, which raised its target price on the group and said sentiment for all the UK banks had improved amid the recent economic recovery.

Barclays and taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group joined RBS in making share gains, up more than 2 per cent each.

BoA, which bought fellow investment bank Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis, said its result reflected "a gradually improving economy".

Brian Moynihan, chief executive of BoA, said: "With each day that passes, the 2010 story appears to be one of continuing credit recovery."

Its better-than-expected profits came as strong trading revenue helped the bank offset continuing losses on consumer loans.

But BoA said losses in most consumer loans portfolios fell during the quarter, echoing similar comments from rival JP Morgan on Wednesday.

Money set aside by BoA to cover credit losses dropped by $3.6bn in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.

However, the figures showed the ongoing effect of the banking woes on BoA, with bad debt charges still at a mammoth $9.8 bn and the first quarter net profits down 24 per cent on a year ago.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral