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M&T Bank's trust business gains traction

The trust and brokerage units of M&T Bank turned in a solid second-quarter performance, according to the bank's earnings results released Wednesday.

The Buffalo-based bank generated $127 million in second-quarter revenue from trust services, up 5% year-over-year. Revenue was also up from the prior quarter, climbing 6% from $120 million.

The 6% increase included approximately $4 million in fees earned from helping trust clients prepare their tax filings, the bank's CFO Darren King said during the earnings call.

King told analysts at a conference in May that the trust business had finally turned a corner after restructuring the business in the wake of the May 2011 acquisition of Wilmington Trust.

As the market moved off the lows of the first quarter of 2016, "balances have grown and fees have grown with it," he said.

M&T's brokerage operations generated another $17 million in second-quarter revenue, up 2% year-over-year but down 4% from the prior quarter.

In a bid to grow its wealth management businesses, the bank last year recruited an executive from BNY Mellon to assume a new position leading Wilmington Trust's wealth unit. The new executive would help M&T and Wilmington "capitalize on opportunities going forward," the bank said in its announcement.

Overall, the bank earned $381 million, or $2.35 per share, in the second quarter, compared with $336 million, or $1.98 per share, in the same quarter of 2016.

"Financial results for M&T in the second quarter were highlighted by a continued widening of the net interest margin, which rose 11 basis points from the previous quarter to 3.45%," M&T's CFO said in a statement.

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