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"Data Analytics Fiduciary" "Trust Assets" "Bank Directors" Trust Performance Report "A.M. Publishing" "U.S. Bank" "peer comparison" "Investment Advisor" "wealth management" assets financial institutions trust companies fiduciary earnings "net income" revenues expenses assets trust company executive priorities "call report" irregularities" "Bernard Garbo" Revenues Outperform Assets in a Year of Very Mixed Performance

(June 26, 2023 --Chicago, IL) -- Gross revenues were impacted only marginally by the large decline in industry assets in 2022. While generating more revenues on fewer dollars is good news, performance varied greatly by and within peer groups.

Profit margins at trust institutions to declined, as expense grew faster than revenue. However, trust executives continue to report a willingness to raise fees, albeit less aggressively than in the near 5 years ago.

These and other findings are detailed in A.M. Publishing's Trust Performance Report 2023. The report is based on A.M. Publishing's Annual Survey of Trust Assets. The survey gathers and analyzes the data of 1200 institutions, including bank trust divisions, national trust companies, and independent trust companies. The survey has been conducted since 2001.


Gross revenues for the trust industry declined by a weighted average of less than 1 percent and by a nonweighted average of 1 percent — breaking a cycle of growth that started in 2009. The largest institutions reported the biggest decline in gross revenues, nearly 3 percent, while the smallest institutions constituted the only peer group to report gross revenue gains. The rest of the industry saw gross revenues remain basically flat, with declines well below 1 percent.

Assets declined by a weighted average of 7 percent and a nonweighted average of 11 percent; the latter reflected the performance of the largest institutions. However, there were notable exception — in particular U.S. Bank. The institution, one of nine with more than a trillion dollars in assets, was the only one of its peer group to report asset growth.

Expense growth was more uniform in 2022 than in 2021, when the spread between average and median expense growth was unusually large. Overall, fewer than seven out of ten institutions reported an increase in expenses in 2022, compared with eight of ten institutions reporting increases in 2021.

Profit Margins Continue to Decline

Profit margins at trust institutions declined in 2022 for the second consecutive year. Average weighted expenses increased at rates above those of revenue growth. The gap between the industry average and the industry median widened for both profit margins and expenses, suggesting larger variances in performance among trust institutions. The level of concern among trust executives regarding meeting revenue targets varied significantly between bank trust divisions and independent trust companies.

Executive Priorities for 2023

In 2023, for the second consecutive year, meeting account growth targets, rather than reaching revenue targets, was the number-one concern of trust bankers. Their second- and third-greatest concerns were meeting revenue targets and controlling costs. However, those industry aggregates distort the concerns of trust bankers, which become clearer when they are broken down by institution size and type.

Anti-money-laundering issues, which are of increasing concern to tax authorities, ranked very low (eighth) among the concerns of bank trust executives, but much higher among independent trust companies.

The COVID-19 pandemic understandably ranks lower than in prior years but again is of greater concern to independent trust executives — 45 percent of which expressed moderate to high concern. Only 33 percent of bank trust executives ranked the COVID-19 pandemic as a moderate to high concern. Concerns that all trust executives ranked very low were, in order, soft dollars, revenue sharing, and fee disclosures.

For more information on trust industry statistics and benchmarks, go to or to our Linkedin group (TrustUpdates -- Statistics and Strategies)

Trust Performance Report -- the annual data book, published in May, provides both industry and peer group performance data by assets, gross revenue, net income, and account category .. as well as 3-year growth data and account balance average by 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 -- the annual data book compares 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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