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Now that the banks have started to file 2016 earnings releases, Calcbench decided to peek at those early numbers.

In our databases, you can see those early figures (for the banks or any other company once it has filed is earnings release) stacked up against prior years’ numbers on the Company-in-Detail page. We flag numbers drawn from earnings releases as “preliminary” until the company files its formal 10-K several weeks in the future, but otherwise take filers at their word and present the data compared to prior annual periods.

For this exercise, we looked at seven large banks with significant consumer operations, who have all filed 2016 earnings releases already: Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Key Bank, PNC, and US Bank. (Wells Fargo and SunTrust are two big ones that have yet to issue an earnings release; and Goldman Sachs has published one, but we omitted it here since Goldman is primarily an investment bank.)

We looked at how those banks are faring with non-interest income. Those are all the ATM fees, account fees, asset management fees, and every other fee banks have been trying to find in recent years, because low interest rates have murdered their revenue from interest-based transactions.

Net interest income is still high in absolute numbers, of course; we did pick some of the largest banks in the United States. But in relative terms, interest-based income has taken it square in the face since the financial crisis. So increasing non-interest revenue has been a strategic goal of most large banks for the better part of a decade.

As you can see from Figure 1, below, our banking sample has done fairly well on that goal. We looked at net interest revenue and non-interest revenue, 2012 through 2016. While non-interest revenue has never exceeded interest revenue for the whole group, our seven banks have closed the gap to the smallest amount we’ve seen: just $17.3 billion difference for 2016. And two of our seven, Citigroup and JP Morgan, do have non-interest revenue that exceeds net interest revenue.

Another way to measure the progress is to express non-interest revenue as a percent of interest revenue. In 2012, that figure was 81.3 percent; in 2016 it was 90 percent. (See Figure 2, below.)

In coming weeks we’ll revisit this study, adding more banks as more 2016 numbers become available. Admittedly, our sample size is small, and some banks will have wildly different numbers because of their business models. Goldman Sachs, for example, has non-interest revenue that dwarfs its interest revenue, because it does so much investment banking; community banks will usually have the opposite effect.

And, of course, in the future we may well see quite different patterns if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, as it did twice last year.

For now, enjoy the early peeks at 2016 data. If you have other ideas for what we should post here, please let us know at info@calcbench.com.


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