The wealth management businesses at Huntington National Bank delivered a disappointing fourth quarter, according to the bank's financial results released on Thursday.
Fourth-quarter revenue declined across all wealth units, with trust services posting the sharpest fall. Revenue from trust operations dove 12% to $25 million from $29 million in the same quarter the year before.
The 12% decline was due to the fiduciary trust businesses moving to a more open architecture platform and a drop in assets under management in proprietary mutual funds, the bank's parent explained in the earnings release.
In the fourth quarter, the company sold Huntington Asset Advisors, Huntington Asset Services and Unified Financial Securities, which Huntington's CFO Mac McCullough referred to as "non-core businesses" during the earnings call.
The sale of the businesses, he said, will allow Huntington to "focus on the core wealth business and continue to reposition the regional banking and Huntington Private Client Group segment for better growth and returns in coming quarters." The sale is expected to reduce noninterest income by about $14 million in 2016, primarily in the trust services line, he said.
Fourth-quarter revenue from retail brokerage also fell sharply, sliding 10% to $14 million from $16 million a year ago. Brokerage revenue was also off 4% from the previous quarter.
Revenue from insurance services was equally disappointing, dropping to $15.5 million from $16.3 million a year ago, a 4% decline. Insurance income was also down 4% from the third quarter.
For the full year, trust services generated $106 million in revenue, while brokerage operations generated $60 million, down 9% and 12%, respectively, year-over-year. The insurance business brought in $65 million for the year, unchanged from 2014.
Overall, Huntington Bancshares, the parent of Huntington National Bank, earned $178 million, or 21 cents per common share, in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with $164 million, or 19 cents per common share, in the same quarter a year ago.
"We are pleased with our 2015 results and are optimistic as we enter 2016," Steve Steinour, Huntington's chairman, president and CEO, said during the earnings call. "Just as we did last year, we built our 2016 budget assuming no benefit from interest rates and have established contingency plans should an even more challenging environment materialize."
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