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National Bank of Canada Profit Rises on Consumer Banking

National Bank of Canada, the country’s sixth-largest bank, said profit climbed 3.1 percent to a record as it posted higher earnings from consumer banking. The bank was the fourth Canadian lender this quarter to top analyst estimates.

Net income for the period ended Jan. 31 rose to C$334 million ($338.7 million), or C$2 a share, from C$322 million, or C$1.86, a year earlier, the Montreal-based bank said today in a statement. It was the sixth straight period of year-over-year profit growth.

Consumer banking profit climbed 9 percent to C$170 million for the quarter because of an increase in personal loan volume, the bank said. Financial markets, which includes investment-banking operations, climbed 13 percent to C$129 million.

Before one-time items, the bank earned C$2 a share, topping the C$1.82-a-share average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

National Bank said wealth management profit dropped 21 percent to C$38 million as it recorded costs for acquisitions.

Separately, the bank said that Chief Executive Officer Louis Vachon was awarded C$7.48 million in 2011, up from C$5.4 million a year earlier. Both figures exclude costs to service Vachon’s pension.

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