Most of the nation's largest banks reported yesterday that heavy business borrowing during the first three months of the year helped boost their profits, although Citicorp, holding company for the nation's second largest bank, suffered a 33 percent decline.
Bankers Trust Co., the country's eighth-largest bank, showed the biggest gain with a 40 percent earnings increase to $37.7 million ($3.15 per share) from $26.9 million ($2.20) in the same period last year.
Bankers Trust Chairman Alfred Brittan III said from the company's New York headquarters that the strong earnings performance was due in large part to higher net interest income.
Net interest income -- the difference between interest earned on loans and that paid out on deposits and borrowings -- increased at most major banks, but is expected to show a decline in the next three-month period, analysts said.
at BankAmerica Corp., where income was up 4.1 percent during the first quarter, President A. W. Clausen said income growth for Bank of America was due mainly to big increases in the volume of business and consumer loans.
As the country's largest commercial bank with deposits of $82.6 billion, Bank of America reported income of $135 million (92 cents per share) for the first quarter, up from $129 million (88 cents) in the same period in 1979.
Citicorp, which operated the nation's No. 2 bank, Citibank, reported income of $83 million (67 cents per share) down 33 percent from the $125 million ($1.01) earned in the same period a year ago.
Chase Manhattan Bank, the nation's third-largest, posted income of $88.1 million, up 20 percent from the $73.1 million earned in the first quarter of 1979. The bank's net interest income was up 4 percent, from $389 million to $403 million.
Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., ranked fourth among the nation's commercial banks, posted an 11 percent income jump, with operating income rising to $56.7 million ($1.70 per share) from $51.1 million ($1.56) in the first quarter of 1979. Net interest income rose 10.9 percent to $285.1 million from $257.1 million, a bank official said.