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BofA's profit rises on higher interest rates, loan growth

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(Reuters) - Bank of America (BAC.N) reported a 34 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Monday as it benefited from higher interest rates and loan growth.

The second-largest U.S. bank by assets said net income attributable to shareholders rose to a record $6.49 billion in the three months ended March 31 from $4.84 billion a year earlier. Earnings per share rose to 62 cents from 45 cents.

Analysts on average had expected 59 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the reported figures were comparable.

Total revenue, net of interest expense, rose about 4 percent to $23.28 billion.

In the bank’s biggest business - consumer banking - revenue rose 9 percent to $9.03 billion, helped by strong deposit and loan growth.

“Strong client activity, coupled with a growing global economy and solid U.S. consumer activity, led to record quarterly earnings,” Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

Higher interest rates helped BofA charge more for loans while keeping deposit rates low. The lender relies heavily on higher interest rates to maximize profits as it has a large stock of deposits and rate-sensitive mortgage securities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) last week also reported rise in quarterly profit, helped in part by higher interest rates.

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Dilts in New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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