National Bank profits plunge after investment write-off

National Bank profits plunge after investment write-off

National Bank profits plunge after investment write-off National Bank saw a 37 per cent drop in its first-quarter profit due in large part to a decision to write-off its investment in Maple Financial Group.

The Montreal-based bank - the smallest of Canada’s six major banks - says its net income for the quarter totaled $261million, down from $415million a year earlier.

Diluted earnings per share were 67 cents for the three months ended Jan 31, down from $1.16 a year earlier.

National Bank announced on Feb 7 that it would write-off the value of its 24.9 per cent interest in Maple Financial after a German financial regulator shut down its Maple Bank subsidiary.

The decision cost the bank $145million after taxes.

Excluding several specified items, including the Maple Bank loss, National Bank says it would have earned $427million, or $1.17 per share, in the quarter - up four per cent from $410million or $1.14 per share a year ago.

The bank’s personal and commercial operations contributed $184million of net income, up eight per cent from last year.

Net income from wealth management was up four per cent to $77million from $74million while its financial markets arm contributed $41million of net income, down from $177million a year earlier -mainly because of Maple Financial.

Maple Financial Group is unrelated to Maple Acquisition Group, which bought the TMX in 2012.