BofA’s wealth business Q3 profit up 33.8 pct

* Assets under management fall 15.6 pct

* Merrill unit gains advisers, raises productivity

* U.S. Trust loses 23 advisory staff from year ago

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Bank of America Merrill
Lynch’s wealth management business saw net income rise 33.8
percent in the third quarter, helped by lower credit costs and
higher noninterest income.

The business posted net income of $313 million, up from
$234 million a year earlier. The business includes the Merrill
Lynch wealth management brand and the U.S. Trust private
banking unit, as well as Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N: )
Columbia cash management business and its investment in
BlackRock Inc.

Assets under management fell 15.6 percent to $624.2
billion. A year earlier, AUM was bolstered by the firm’s
Columbia Management long-term asset management business, which
was sold on May 1.

Merrill Lynch added 361 new advisers from a year ago,
bringing its total adviser force to 15,340 at the end of the
quarter. Adviser productivity rose to $851,000 from $837,000.

U.S. Trust lost 23 client-facing professionals, bringing
its advisory staff to 2,178.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, reported
better-than-expected operating earnings on Tuesday on declining
credit losses, but faced new questions about whether it will
have to buy back troubled mortgages from investors.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin; additional reporting by John
McCrank in Ottawa; editing by John Wallace)

BofA’s wealth business Q3 profit up 33.8 pct