UPDATE 1-BofA 4th-qtr profit falls after mortgage-related charges
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp on Thursday reported its fourth-quarter profit fell from a year ago as it took more charges to clean up mortgage-related problems stemming from the financial crisis.
The second-largest U.S. bank earned $700 million, or 3 cents a share in the quarter, compared with a profit of $2 billion, or 15 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
Bank of America said on Jan. 7 its fourth-quarter results would include a litany of one-time items, including more than $5 billion in mortgage-related charges, a $1.3 billion tax benefit and a $700 million charge related to the value of its debt.
The bank's results were boosted by a lower provision for bad loans, which fell to $2.2 billion from $2.9 billion a year ago. Bank of America also saw investment banking fees climb 58 percent from a year ago.
To boost profits, Bank of America in 2011 launched a broad cost-cutting program that aims to eliminate $8 billion in annual expenses by mid-2015. The bank's expenses declined to $18.4 billion in the quarter from $18.9 billion a year ago, excluding goodwill impairment charges in the year-ago period.
Bank of America's charges included $2.5 billion for its share of an $8.5 billion settlement with large banks over foreclosures and $2.7 billion for agreements with Fannie Mae over soured loans the bank sold the finance company and for delays in processing foreclosures.