Good day everyone, and welcome to today's Bank of America Earnings Announcement. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later you'll have the opportunity to ask questions during the question-and-answer session. Please note this call may be recorded. [Operator Instructions].
it is now my pleasure to turn today's conference over to Lee McEntire. Please go ahead.
Good morning. Thank you, Catherine. Thanks for joining the call to review our fourth quarter 2019 and our full year results. By now, I hope everyone's had a chance to review the earnings release documents which are available on the Investor Relations section of bankofamerica.com website.
Before I turn the call over to our CEO Brian Moynihan for a few remarks, let me remind you that we may make forward-looking statements during the call. For further information on those forward-looking comments, please refer to either our earnings release documents, our website or our SEC filings. After Brian's comments, our CFO, Paul Donofrio, will review more details on the 4Q results. We'll then open up for questions. Please try to limit your questions, so that we can get to all callers.
So let's get rolling. Brian?
Thank you, Lee. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us to review our results. I'm going to let Paul take you through the fourth quarter, which reflected a strong finish to close out 2019. Before that, I want to give you a high level view on our results.
Of course, our results continue to reflect the strength of the U.S. consumer in the biggest economy in the world. We continue to be well positioned here in driving market share gains, and great service and capabilities. This quarter is also one of transition, from a period of rising rates in 2018, to one that is moving through the impact of the declining rates in the second half of 2019.
How do you run a company, a big bank, and deal with lower rates? Well, we drive what we can control, with our [Indecipherable] internal commitment to responsible growth. We drive more loans, more deposits, more assets under management, and driving growth for the right pricing and at the right risks. We also have to manage our cost base carefully, while making the required investments, and we have to take advantage of a strong balance sheet to provide good capital return to our shareholders.
At Bank of America, we checked the box in all of these in the quarter. We grew loans -- average loans by 6% in all lines of businesses. We grew deposits by 5%, with very disciplined deposit pricing. Our expenses were relatively flat again. While we increased investments across our whole company. And when doing that, we earned $7 billion after tax this quarter, with a return on tangible common equity of 15%. And due to our strong balance sheet, we returned $9.1 billion in capital to our common shareholders this quarter. At the same time, we deployed capital to support growth for
Senior Vice President of Investor Relations
Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer
Paul M. Donofrio
Chief Financial Officer
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