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fiduciary earnings expenses trust bank Investment Advisor wealth management assets Trust Performance Report trust company executive priorities revenue expenses net income A.M. Publishing financial institutions Bernard Garbo Slow Return to Normal; Fewer Assets Needed to Break Even

(Dec. 13, 2022 --Chicago, IL) -- In 2021, there were a larger than usual number of statistical outliers: institutions whose performances skewed the industry averages, according to Fiduciary Earnings & Expenses 2022. In part, this performance appears to reflect instability associated with emergence from the pandemic.

Based on 2022 survey feedback and industry data as of 12/31/2021, Fiduciary Earnings & Expenses found that the trust industry, similarly to the wider economy, is slowly returning to its pre-pandemic level of operations, but it is not quite there yet.

Unlike 2020, when many in the trust industry were assessing whether to stay in the business, 2021 saw several new entities, primarily independent trust companies, enter the field.

Fiduciary Earnings & Expenses' analysis continues to suggest that the best overall model of operation is that of independent trust companies, which generate higher revenues and profits per account officer than their bank counterparts. They also report requiring fewer full-time-equivalent employees than their bank counterparts.

What seems to drive the model for independents is their greater tendency to focus on three or fewer product categories.

Making a profit in the trust industry requires volume; in 2021, the average needed to break even declined.

In 2021, the break-even point, on average, was $207 million for banks, $512 million for national trust companies, and $312 million for independents. For banks, this was the third consecutive year that average breakeven declined: it was $228 million in 2020 and just under $300 million in the 2019. For independents, it was down from $400 million in the prior year and a return to pre-pandemic averages. For national trust companies, the breakeven declined from the high of $550 million in 2020. This suggests either that bank trust divisions operate more efficiently, which the data do not otherwise support, or that their bank affiliates are underwriting some of their expenses

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Trust Performance Report -- annual data book, published in May, provides both industry and peer group performance data by assets, gross revenue, net income, and account category. Subscribers receive semiannual updates. TPR findings are based on its annual survey of the top 1200 fiduciary institutions. For more best practices and benchmark data see TPR. For information on ordering click here or the link below.

Fiduciary Earnings & Expenses -- annual data book comparing performance among independent trust companies to that of OCC national trust companies and to bank trust divisions. For information on ordering click here or the link below.

For Sample copies of both publications click here and then, on the web page, check "Trust Performance Report."

Data Files -- a spreadsheet version of Trust Performance Report is available. For more information on rates, please visit … Discounts apply for subscribers to Trust Performance Report. For more information on discounts, please email:

No statement in this issue is offered as or should be construed as legal opinion or advice or as an indicator of future performance.
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