Categories Earnings Call Transcripts, Finance

Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK) Q2 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

BK Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE: BK) Q2 2021 earnings call dated Jul. 15, 2021

Corporate Participants:

Marius Merz — Investor Relations

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Glenn Schorr — Evercore ISI — Analyst

Jim Mitchell — Seaport Global Securities — Analyst

Alex Blostein — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Brennan Hawken — UBS — Analyst

Ken Usdin — Jefferies — Analyst

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Rob Wildhack — Autonomous Research — Analyst

Rajiv Bhatia — Morningstar — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the 2021 Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call Hosted by BNY Mellon. [Operator Instructions] Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference call and webcast will be recorded and will consist of copyrighted material. You may not record or rebroadcast these materials without BNY Mellon’s consent.

I will now turn the call over to Marius Merz, BNY Mellon, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Marius Merz — Investor Relations

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to BNY Mellon’s Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. Today, we will reference our financial highlights presentation available on the Investor Relations page of our website at bnymellon.com.

Todd Gibbons, BNY Mellon’s CEO, will lead the call. Then, Emily Portney, our CFO, will take you through our earnings presentation. Following Emily’s prepared remarks, there will be a Q&A session.

Before we begin, please note that our remarks include forward-looking statements and non-GAAP measures. Information about these statements and non-GAAP measures are available in the earnings press release, financial supplement and financial highlights presentation, all available on the Investor Relations page of our website. Forward-looking statements made on this call speak only as of today, July 15, 2021, and will not be updated.

With that, I will hand it over to Todd.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Marius, and good morning, everyone. Now, I’m going to touch on a few of the highlights before I hand it over to Emily and she’ll review our second quarter financial results and the outlook for the second half of the year in more detail.

So, if we refer to Slide two of the financial highlights presentation, we reported EPS of $1.13, that’s on $4 billion of revenue. And we generated a return on tangible common equity of 19%. Fee revenue was up 4% year-over-year and it was up 10% excluding the impact of money market fee waivers. Average deposits were down 1% quarter-over-quarter. This together with strong capital generation drove an approximately 20 basis point increase in our Tier 1 leverage ratio.

And we are pleased with the results of this year’s supervisory stress tests, which once again demonstrated the resilience of our business model and the strength of our balance sheet, even under severe stress. And we also welcome the Fed’s decision to lift the recent restrictions on common stock dividends and share repurchases at the end of June.

Now taking a step back for a look at the broader operating environment, we continue to be impacted by the significant amount of excess cash in the system. We welcome the Fed’s decision to raise the IOER and the overnight reverse repo rate by 5 basis points last month. That provided a bit of support to short-term rates, although they continue to be exceptionally low by historical standards. Money market funds take-up of the Fed’s reverse repo facility increased from approximately $500 billion prior to the Fed’s action to north of $750 billion, and they actually spiked to almost $1 trillion at quarter end.

This means that somewhere between 15% and 20% of total US money market fund assets are being parted to Fed, earning 5 basis points. Now, given the significant amount of excess cash in the system and the expectation for further Fed balance sheet expansion, bank balance sheets will continue to be under pressure, but money market funds may provide some relief.

Now, let’s turn to a few highlights across the franchise, and I’ll start with asset servicing. In asset servicing, we continue to see good momentum as clients increasingly transform their operating models and they’re are looking to us for open, modular, front-to-back solutions, including our leading data and analytics solutions that they can build their own businesses on.

As an example, we were awarded new business from Lockheed Martin and it was led by asset servicing, but it really leveraged our capabilities across the enterprise. We were awarded custody and a full suite of related services as Lockheed was looking to consolidate providers across custody and hedge fund administration. This large corporate asset owner win demonstrates the power of our omni offering to bring a wide breadth of services, which includes data and analytics, leading fintech partnerships and other capabilities from across the enterprise together, which happened to differentiate us from our competitors in this process.

We also continue to drive innovation in digital assets. We are excited to have recently been mandated by Grayscale as the world’s largest digital currency asset manager to provide fund accounting and administrative services for the Bitcoin Trust. Once conversion to an ETF is SEC approved, we will be able to service the product as an ETF as well, while also providing our unique transfer agency and ETF basket creation services.

On ETFs more broadly, we continue to see good momentum into ETF servicing, with ETF AUC/A reaching $1.1 trillion at the end of June. And we’ve now helped to launch over 100 ETFs year-to-date. We’ve also continued to strengthen our capabilities through additional partnerships with leading fintechs and last week we announced the acquisition of Milestone. This acquisition will help us advance digitization and automation of core accounting and asset servicing capabilities.

If you recall roughly about a year ago, we formed an elite alliance with Milestone to address an industry need for greater fund oversight and resiliency. Following on the success of this alliance, we saw an opportunity to build on the strategic relationship and further our capabilities in OCI host services, cash allocation and fair value controls. I’d also like to highlight our recently announced partnerships with Saphyre and evisort. Gives — both are terrific examples of how we are using open architecture to automate and digitize operations, improve the client experience and driving efficiencies.

Moving on to our markets infrastructure businesses. Pershing had another strong quarter, benefiting from equity market strength and continued strong underlying fundamentals. The number of clearing accounts continues to grow at a healthy clip and we saw strong net new asset flows and the sales pipeline there remains robust. In May, we reshaped Pershing’s operating model into two segments: Institutional Solutions and Wealth Solutions. And we did that to organize around our clients and align our expertise to best serve their needs. Aligning around these two segments enables us to focus our people, tech investments and process improvements to fuel growth.

Institutional Solutions serves capital markets firms, investment banks, hedge funds and alternative investment managers. Pershing’s institutional platform provides clients with a single seamless experience backed by the strength and scale of BNY Mellon, offering financing, collateral management, global trade execution, securities lending and syndicate capabilities. Our Wealth Solutions addresses the evolving and converging needs of our wealth-minded broker dealer and RIA clients by delivering improved lending, digitized account opening and streamlined asset transfers.

Given the rapid growth in the wealth advisory segment, we are making significant new investments to further build out our advisory capabilities. In markets, we were able to offset some of the headwinds from meaningfully lower volatility and narrowing spreads, but growing our client volume significantly, reflecting the success of the initiatives we put in place to strengthen our capabilities and improve client targeting across our investment services business. In fact, last week, Euromoney ranked us number one in the 18 categories of its 2021 FX Survey. And for the first time, we claim the number one spot as real money overall market leader globally.

In Treasury Services, we saw a strong growth in quarterly payments volumes, compared to the prior year. And the business experienced healthy client wins in payments, liquidity and trade across all geographic regions. In June, we introduced cross-currency sweeps, the latest addition to our rapidly expanding liquidity management product suite. And earlier in May, we launched the first of its kind real time e-bill and pre-payment solution that we talked about in the past. We are the first bank leveraging the New York Clearing House’s Real-Time Payments network to provide corporations with an instant digital consumer bill pay service. And today, we’re actively collaborating with multiple billers and retail banks to drive the adoption of this new functionality. Our production pilots will continue this year and we’re planning to scale them more broadly into 2022.

In investment management, we had our fifth consecutive quarter of net inflows into long-term products. We continue to see strong net inflows into cash products and we ended the quarter with record AUM. We’ve been making good progress in our realignment to transfer Mellon capabilities in fixed income, equity and multi-asset, liquidity management to Insight, Newton and Dreyfus Cash, respectively. And that was the purpose is to bring specialist investment capabilities at scale, and we remain on track for completion of this in the third quarter.

We’re pleased to see that we’re already starting to drive efficiencies and feedback from clients and industry consultants has been quite positive. And last month, Euan Munro joined us as the new Head of Newton. Euan brings three decades of experience with a proven track record in the investment industry, including extensive experience leading one of the UK’s largest asset managers with a presence in institutional, intermediary and retail markets.

And finally in wealth management, we saw another quarter of strong client asset flows and client assets exceeded $300 billion for the first time. The Financial Times named BNY Mellon the Best Private Bank for Digital Wealth Planning in North America, and they are recognizing there our wealth online Client Portal and our proprietary goals-based planning tool, we call AdvicePath.

Taken together, we are pleased with the increased momentum that we’re seeing across the franchise, which is resulting in organic fee growth in excess of our 1.5% outlook for the year. Our strong performance in the first half of the year and significant capital generation have put us in a position to further accelerate investments in a number of meaningful growth and modernization opportunities in the second half.

Now before I turn it over to Emily to review our second quarter results and the outlook for the second half of the year in more detail, I’d like to provide a quick update on our plans for the return of the office and the future of the workplace. Starting in September, we’re planning to begin safely opening our offices around the world, although dates and details may vary by location as we continue to monitor and as conditions evolve.

We believe that in the process we have an opportunity to create a new and better way of working that makes us feel more connected, balanced and productive, while maintaining flexibility. The majority of our almost 50,000 colleagues around the world will therefore follow a hybrid model that allows for a flexible mix of remote and in-person experiences going forward.

With that, I’ll hand it over to Emily.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Todd, and good morning, everyone. As I walk you through the details of our results for the quarter, all comparisons will be on a year-over-year basis unless I specify otherwise.

Beginning on Page three, total revenue was lower by 1% due to lower net interest revenue and higher money market fee waivers, partially offset by strong fee growth. Fee revenue grew 4% or 10%, excluding the impact of fee waivers. This reflects the positive impact of higher market values, the favorable impact of a weaker US dollar and higher client activity.

Other revenue was $91 million and included approximately $30 million of investments, disposal and other income gains. Net interest revenue was down 17%. Expenses increased 3% and about two-thirds driven by the weaker US dollar. Provision for credit losses was a benefit of $86 million, driven by an improvement in the macroeconomic forecast. EPS was $1.13, and pre-tax margin was 32%.

Moving to Page four, which shows a trend analysis of the main drivers of our quarterly results. Investment services revenue was $3 billion, down 4% year-on-year, mainly driven by lower net interest revenue and higher fee waivers. Excluding fee waivers, investment services fee and other revenue was up 5%, reflecting increased client activity and organic growth in assets from existing clients, higher liquidity balances and market levels and the benefit of the weaker US dollar.

Investment and wealth management revenue of $1 million [Phonetic] increased 13% as higher market values and the benefit of the weaker US dollar more than offset the impact of fee waivers. Excluding fee waivers, fee and other revenue was up 21%. Money market fee waivers, net of distribution and servicing expense were $252 million in the quarter, up $64 million from the prior quarter, which impacted pre-tax income by approximately $40 million, sequentially. Higher waivers were driven by lower key bill and repo rates, as well as higher average balances.

Turning to Page five. Our capital and liquidity ratios remain strong and well above internal targets and regulatory minimums. Our CET1 ratio was 12.6%, flat to Q1 under the standardized approach. And our Tier 1 leverage ratio, which is our binding capital constraint was 6%, up approximately 20 basis points sequentially, due to net capital generation and a 2% quarter-over-quarter decrease in average assets. Average deposit balances declined by 1% as we’ve been successful at curtailing deposit growth by working with our clients to move excess deposits to off-balance sheet vehicles, namely money market funds, which were up roughly 9% sequentially, outpacing the industry. Finally, our LCR was 110% flat to the prior quarter.

Turning to Page six. My comments on net interest revenue will highlight the sequential changes. Q2 net interest revenue was $645 million, down 1.5%. The decrease was largely driven by the impact of lower short-term rates, continued elevated prepayment speeds and lower reinvestment yields.

Turning to Page seven, which will provide some color on deposits and our securities portfolio trends and mix. As mentioned, average deposit balances declined by a little over $3 billion sequentially, despite the Fed adding $360 billion of liquidity into the system through its bond purchase program and the treasury general account having declined by about $300 billion in the quarter. Our deposits remained elevated versus a year ago, up $42 billion or 15%. We estimate that a portion of this growth is excess in nature and is expected to run off when rates rise.

Turning to the securities portfolio. On average, the portfolio was flat to the first quarter and up approximately $7 million, or 5% over the prior year. Average loans increased about 7%, both sequentially and year-over-year, with growth primarily driven by Pershing margin loans, wealth management, collateralized loans and capital call financing, as well as term secured loans to global financial institutions.

Turning to Page eight. As I mentioned earlier, expenses of approximately $2.8 billion for the quarter were higher by 3% versus the prior year, with about two-thirds of the increase driven by the unfavorable impact of the weaker US dollar. The remainder was primarily driven by volume and revenue-related expenses and investments in efficiency and growth initiatives.

Turning to Page nine. Total revenue in the investment services segment declined by 4% versus the prior year. FX revenue in investment services declined 7% year-over-year, driven by lower volatility and spreads, partially offset by strong growth in client volumes. On a sequential basis, FX revenue declined 21% on lower volumes, especially in emerging markets, lower spreads and volatility.

Assets under custody and/or administration increased by 21% year-over-year to $45 trillion, driven by higher market levels, net new business and a favorable impact of the weaker US dollar. As I discuss the investment services businesses, I will focus my comments on total fees in each business. Within the asset servicing line of business, we saw growth on the back of higher client activity and market levels, which more than offset lower FX revenue. The growth was offset by a roughly 400 basis point impact from fee waivers.

Fees in Pershing were up, reflecting higher market levels and solid organic growth, partial offset by higher fee waivers and lower transaction volumes, compared to an exceptional quarter a year ago. Clearing accounts were up 6%, mutual fund assets were up 33%, and we saw continued strong net asset flows of $40 billion in the quarter. Waivers impacted fee growth by approximately 800 basis points.

Fees and Issuer Services had underlying growth in DRs, which saw a resumption of client issuance and dividend activity to pre-COVID levels, as well as in Corporate Trust on the back of higher CLO, MTN and mortgage refi activity. This growth was offset by the impact of fee waivers in Corporate Trust.

Treasury services fees were up 11%, driven by higher payment volumes and a continued shift to higher-margin products. In fact, on June 30th, the business processed a record $3.2 trillion in US dollar payments. Finally, clearing and collateral management fees were down slightly as continued strength in collateral management was offset by lower clearance volumes and lower intraday financing fees. Elevated levels of US money fund, AUM and international demand for HQLA collateral are both providing long-term tailwinds for our collateral management business.

Page 10, summarizes the key drivers that affect the year-over-year revenue comparisons for each of our investment services businesses.

Turning to investment and wealth management on Page 11. Total investment in wealth management revenues increased 13% versus the prior year. Assets under management grew to a record $2.3 trillion, up 18% year-over-year, primarily due to higher market values and favorable impact of a weaker US dollar principally versus the British pound and net client inflows. We had net inflows of $25 billion in the second quarter, driven by LDI, fixed income and cash strategies. As Todd said, this is our fifth consecutive quarter of long-term inflows.

Investment management revenue grew 13%, due to higher market values, the benefit of a weaker US dollar, higher performance fees and net inflows despite a 9% negative impact from fee waivers. Wealth management revenue also grew 13%, due to higher market values, investment performance and growth in collateralized loans. Client assets in wealth management were a record $305 billion, up 20% year-over-year.

Page 12, includes the results of the other segments. I’ll conclude with a few comments about the outlook. As we think about the second half of 2021, based on a current forward curve, we now expect NIR on a full-year basis to be down approximately 14%, compared to 2020.

Although using the forward curve and assuming flat balances, we estimate fee waivers, net of distribution and servicing expense to be approximately $225 million in the third quarter, slightly better than the $252 million this quarter, driven by the slightly higher short-term rate outlook. This is estimated to have a modest pre-tax benefit of $15 million next quarter.

With regard to fees ex-waivers, recall that we guided at year-end for growth to be about 3%. Given the strong first half of this year, we now expect full-year fees ex-waivers to be up between 7% and 8%.

On expenses, we now expect the full-year to be up closer to 4%, excluding notable items. Approximately half of the year-over-year growth is expected to be related to currency and the other half is pre-evenly split over higher volume and revenue-related expenses and incremental investments in a number of attractive growth and efficiency opportunities.

We still expect our full-year effective tax rate to be approximately 19%. And with respect to capital return, our Board just declared a cash dividend of $0.34 per share for the third quarter, representing an approximately 10% increase and authorized up to $6 billion of common stock repurchases over the next six quarters through the end of 2022.

Considering the $2 billion of excess capital that we’ve accumulated and the significant amount of capital that we’re generating, we expect to buy back well in excess of 100% of our earnings in the near-term. And remember, the SCB framework allows for additional capital actions over time, if and when appropriate, subject to additional authorization by our Board.

With that, operator, can you please open the line for questions?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Glenn Schorr with Evercore ISI.

Glenn Schorr — Evercore ISI — Analyst

Hi. Thanks very much and thanks for taking away like 17 of my questions with that outlook, that was helpful. Can I get a follow-up — and on the expense question. So if you look at year-on-year, it was up 3%. I heard your guide. Was expenses were down 3% quarter-on-quarter? Can we talk about the growth opportunity piece you mentioned? What growth opportunities are you investing in, and what kind of payback can we expect? How do you think about that, given your huge excess capital? I’m just — my real question is why not invest more? So like that’s where I’m going with it.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

It’s a great question, Glenn. Thank you. So as you have rightfully pointed out, we have been extraordinarily disciplined on expenses, and we’ve actually held them flat over the course of last four years. Everything that we’re talking about here are investments in growth and efficiency and just to name a few. So certainly, digital assets and all the things we’ve talked about around digital assets, data and analytics, advisory services in Pershing, as well as the managed account space.

I’d highlight also electronic payment and collection services and treasury services. And then the remainder would be modernizing and automating our — both our risk management and our operations infrastructure. And really, as you alluded to, we had a very strong half. We have a very strong capital-generative model. There are interesting opportunities. All of these have been properly vetted and truly will drive incremental growth and efficiency. So, we feel now it’s an important time to invest.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Glenn, you’re still there? I think we lost you.

Glenn Schorr — Evercore ISI — Analyst

Oh, yes. Sorry about that. I appreciate all that, Emily. Maybe just a quick follow-up on Pershing. So in past, you spoke about some — maybe some headwinds in the second half. Are you able to quantify that? Just to give us that heads up on what to expect in the second half? And maybe at the high level, talk about the competitive backdrop there, because it seems like some — yet another competitor is poking their nose and trying to get involved on the RIA clearing side?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. I can start, and I’m sure Todd can add. Just in terms of the impact of the loss business that we had talked about in the past, it’s going to be about $20 million per quarter going forward. And that is, by the way, Glenn, baked into the forecast. So that is embedded in there. And yes, it is a competitive space. And actually, that particular piece of business that we’re talking about was really [Technical Issues] on the wrong side of some M&A activity. So we do — although we see a lot of growth and a lot of opportunity, there’s certainly further consolidation as well.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And I would add, it’s, you know, — the consolidation that we’ve seen is actually a positive for us. So, we’ve got a very robust pipeline. We continue to add a significant number of accounts over the course of the quarter, and as well as seeing significant growth in funds. And we think there’s opportunity to actually invest more. So what we did this quarter is we actually separated the businesses into two. One is the institutional side, where we have some unique capabilities with some very large clients and we’ve got some pretty good leads there that we’re excited about.

But also on the advisory and the broker-dealer side, we think we can invest there and garner some more of what’s a very fast-growing industry. There is some competition there. But the consolidation has also provided some opportunity for us. So, we do get every, now and then, you get a lumpy loss due to an M&A. We’ve looked at over history that really — it hasn’t changed. We probably won more than we’ve lost. But we have pointed out that will have an impact in the third quarter.

Glenn Schorr — Evercore ISI — Analyst

Okay. That’s awesome. Thanks for all that, both of you. Thanks.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Glenn.

Operator

Our next question comes from Jim Mitchell with Seaport Research. Please go ahead.

Jim Mitchell — Seaport Global Securities — Analyst

Hey. Good morning. Can you speak to your efforts on deposits? It seems like you had some success keeping deposits flat to down. Is that deliberate efforts on your part with less demand for your balance sheet? Maybe you could just speak to the deposit growth in the quarter and how you think about it going forward?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. I’ll take that. So you’re right, we have been proactively managing deposits and very successfully. We’ve been working with our clients, and you can see that in our trends. So despite the Fed — and continuing to pump access liquidity into the system, ultimately, we have managed our deposits and they’re down 1% sequentially. This has been very much of, you know, a coordinated effort with our sales people and our clients. And in terms of looking at what’s excess on our balance sheet, we probably think we have about $25 billion to $50 billion that’s still excess.

But what we have been doing is looking at what is excess and actually working with our clients to move it to off-balance sheet vehicles such as money market funds. That’s partially why you see a 9% growth in our money market fund balances that were driving waivers. And we’re fortunate, too, in that. We have a very robust liquidity solutions business. We offer both in-house, as well as third-party solutions. And that has been certainly very attractive to our clients as we’ve endeavored to manage the balance sheet. And look, going forward, we will continue to do that. We’re comfortable where we are. But certainly, we will continue to do that, considering there is still — will likely be more liquidity coming into the system.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

It’s a — Jim, it’s a very disciplined process that Emily leads along with the sales people, treasury function. And we look at it client by client. And the good news is we’ve been able to capture most of that in our money market funds or our liquidity direct offerings. So, we are gaining market share there.

And we’ve got a little bit of benefit when the Fed did increase the interest rate on excess reserves and the reverse repo that have made that alternative. They provided a bit of an outlet. So, we think even though the Fed will probably continue to provide liquidity and build their balance sheet that we should be able to manage it.

Jim Mitchell — Seaport Global Securities — Analyst

Right. No, that’s helpful. And then just as a follow-up to that. If you think — you’ve had success on the leverage ratio, when we think about the buyback that you’re targeting over the next 18 months, can you front-load that? How do we think about the cadence of buybacks?

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Emily?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So certainly, the cadence of buybacks is going to be determined by lots of different factors: our capital position, our forward outlook for earnings, etc. But you can definitely assume that considering we have about $2 billion of excess capital now, and that’s just against our binding constraint of Tier 1 leverage, frankly, we have more excess capital when you actually think about what a normalized balance sheet size probably is and when some of those excess deposits received. So assuming — taking that into account, taking into account the fact that we’ve also committed to our shareholders that we will return 100% of earnings over time, it’s safe to assume that we’ll probably front-load that $6 billion of authorization that we received from the Board.

Jim Mitchell — Seaport Global Securities — Analyst

Okay. That’s great. Thanks.

Operator

Next question comes from Alex Blostein with Goldman Sachs.

Alex Blostein — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Hey. Thanks. Good morning everybody. So maybe just starting with the NIR guide for the back half. Looks like the amount continues to, kind of, grind lower a little bit and maybe given what the forward curve has done relative to last quarter, not particularly surprising. But curious, if you guys feel like the most of the pain is now in the run rate. Is this the right, sort of, jumping off point to think about as we sort of start to pencil out into 2022?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So, I hesitate to call a trough, because every time we do it, it’s not accurate. But in terms of just our forward — our outlook, we just use the forward curve when we project NIR, we don’t try to get cute. Short-term rates are a bit lower in the forward curve than they were a couple of months ago. Likewise, as you all have seen, the long end has come down and the curve is flattening. And likewise, in terms of prepayment fees, they have been elevated. And although we do expect them to slow down by the end of the year, they’re probably going to still be more elevated than we had originally anticipated. So, all of those things are just baked into the 14% down year-on-year.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

You know, a couple of things. I mean, one of the key drivers is our short-term rates when you look at LIBORs and obviously, when you look at the Fed funds rate or the IOERs. So the fact that, that has stabilized, and it stabilized a bit in the forward curve, at least out the next six months or so. So the downside drag to that from where we are is probably not likely to be much, unless something else were to change.

And then we’re going to have to look at the impact of term rates as we do reprice assets as they come out of the investment portfolio. But our best guess right now is we’re pretty close to the trough. And as we think through money market fee waivers, it does feel like the support in the reverse repo program has probably bottomed that out.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Yes.

Alex Blostein — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Great. That’s helpful. Thank you. I was hoping to get through a couple of business line items as well. Maybe just focusing on asset servicing for a second. It seems like the business is seeing pretty decent momentum here when I sort of back out money market fee waivers from the asset servicing line. It looks like it was up 2% quarter-on-quarter, 7% year-over-year, so despite, obviously, moderating industry volumes backdrop.

Can you help us bridge maybe what sort of the source of growth here are sequentially? And as we’re sort of thinking ahead over the next sort of 12-months to 18-months, what do you expect to be the bigger contributors to growth here? I know there’s a bunch of things that sort of go in there, right? There’s a custody and admin business, but then there’s also tri-party repo and a couple of other things.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So let me start with the more traditional custody business. I think we are having quite a bit of success there when we — we’ve got — we won a couple of very nice mandates this year. Our sales growth is ahead of where it’s been. The ETF business is growing very nicely. We captured — it’s up significantly on a year-over-year basis. Our capabilities there are quite good.

In our venture with CIBC Mellon, we’ve actually won 11 of the 16 ETFs that have been listed on the TSE. And so we’re seeing healthy growth there. We’ve got about 100 opportunities in our digital asset space. So that is getting some traction. And we’ve got really good flows across a number of our existing organic flows with our existing clients. So it’s a combination of all of that, Alex.

Alex Blostein — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Great. Thanks very much.

Operator

Our next question comes from Brennan Hawken with UBS.

Brennan Hawken — UBS — Analyst

Good morning. Thanks for taking my questions. I’d like to start with the balance sheet. You touched on the estimate of excess deposits, that was really helpful. Thanks for that, Emily. Curious about what drove though on the funding cost side, the improvement quarter-over-quarter? Was there any noise in that? Or do you think that’s sustainable? And then when we think about squaring the guide for balances, what are you assuming for deposit growth from here for the rest of the year? Thanks.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So just on the funding side, really, there was a benefit of also lower rates there. So that was what was driving it. Nothing else really notable.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes, a lot of our debt is swapped to floating. So as we saw lower LIBORs, we saw through that as well.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Exactly. And then I think the other question was the — what was the second part of the question?

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Balance sheet growth.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Oh, balance sheet growth, yes. We — as similar to what I had alluded to before, we will continue to monitor and proactively manage the balance sheet. We do have room should deposits go up further. But of course, like I said, based on the excess that we have, we’d like to kind of stay where we are and frankly, manage it down further.

Brennan Hawken — UBS — Analyst

Okay. Got it. And then when we think about servicing — the servicing revenue, and Alex touched on this a little, what was the contribution of activity this quarter? What was the benefit of new business? Was there some — did that come in late in the quarter from a — I know we — it’s an imperfect way to model, but the way we all model this, it looks that the fee rate got hit this quarter. So what were some of the dynamics there and how should we be thinking about that going forward?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

I mean, if you’re talking about, like asset servicing versus AUC/A, which I think is kind of what you’re alluding to. AUC/A was up 8% sequentially. It’s about — one-third of that was market and currency driven and the remainder was really organic growth. So some really good signs of organic growth. When you look at that, though, against asset servicing fees and revenues, like when we think about it, it’s generally helpful rather than look at the 8% to probably look at the thought — sorry, rather than look at the spot to look at the average growth in AUC/A, which was about 5%. And then when you look at the asset servicing fee line, it was flat, but ex-waivers was up 2%. And actually, as we’ve kind of reminded folks in the past, when we look — asset servicing fees, only 50% or so are truly driven by asset levels. The remainder are driven by account-based fees and transaction fees. So hopefully, that helps.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes. When you get under it all, if you look at really what is the organic growth rate underneath — across the businesses, especially in the investment services business, when we look at fees only, if you exclude market appreciation or depreciation and the currency impact, waivers and some of the extraordinary volumes that we had in the second quarter of last year due to COVID, that’s — if you net that out and net the fee waivers out, we are seeing probably something like 2% or slightly better than 2% in the core organic growth.

Brennan Hawken — UBS — Analyst

Great. Thanks for that color.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ken Usdin with Jefferies.

Ken Usdin — Jefferies — Analyst

Hey. Thanks. Good morning. Emily, on the fee side, ex-waivers, you talked about the improvement on your outlook to plus 7%, 8% from plus 3%. And I’m just wondering how much of that was just a pull-through of the first half as you mentioned? And — or if you are actually more confident in what you’re seeing in some of the core businesses following on the last few questions about the underlying growth that you are seeing in other fee areas?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So ultimately, the 7%, 8% is fees, ex-waiver growth over the course of — over year-on-year. So if you have some of the numbers to do the math, in the first half, we had about 8% growth. In the second half, it will still be very, very healthy, but probably closer to 7%.

Ken Usdin — Jefferies — Analyst

Okay. All right. So it was more of just how good it’s been and then stays is the way to think about it?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Exactly.

Ken Usdin — Jefferies — Analyst

Okay. Got it. And just, Todd, coming back to the — you laid out a lot of new product intros you’ve been talking about this for a while. I guess, the challenge for us is to understand how these product intros turn into revenues and the timeframe by which they do convert. And you’ve talked about the organic growth improving directionally over time. But how do — how quickly can we start to see some of these improvements and new intros really starting to roll into the income statement? And are there ones that you can give examples of, which — where they’re live and now starting to be meaningful contributors? Thanks.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Sure, Ken. So as we described in the past, if you looked at our organic growth over the past few years before last year, it was basically flat. And so now we are starting to see — we’re starting to get some traction as we’ve improved a number of our services, invested in our data and analytics capabilities. And we’ve talked about our digital assets capability. So, we’re already starting to see some benefit in these numbers. Now that we’re seeing an underlying growth rate more like 2%, we’re already starting to see some benefit to things like our custody and ETF servicing business around some of the digital assets. Our investments in the ETF business is starting to come through and show up in the numbers a bit.

Some of the longer-term investments that we’re looking to make, like Pershing, where we’re really investing in the platform, we don’t expect that to really turn into revenues for as long as two years. So it’s — some of these are very — are longer term and some of them are coming through as we talk about them.

On the treasury services side, where you see us gaining some market share and we’ve had pretty healthy organic growth there. The multi-currency sweeps has caught a lot of attention when we announced that. We have clients in it today, and we think that will gain some traction over the next year or so. And I would say the same thing with what we’re doing with real-time payments and collections. So, we’ve mapped it out. It’s kind of all over the board. Some of them are as far as two years or three years out. Some of the investments that we’re making in custody, we would expect to have a return maybe a year out. And some of them are starting to bump into and help us generate a positive organic growth rate of the 2% that we’re seeing today.

Operator

And we’ll take our next question from Brian Bedell with Deutsche Bank.

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Great. Thanks. Good morning, folks. Just want to come back to the AUC/A, up to $45 trillion from the $41.7 trillion. You mentioned about two-thirds of that was organic. Can you parse that out a bit between organic from the client base in terms of net inflows at your clients? It seems like $2 trillion is a large number. So, I just wanted to sort of understand new business won by BNY Mellon versus the underlying client growth?

And then if you can also comment on the demand for cryptocurrency servicing. Obviously, the Grayscale mandate, which is great. Are you seeing an increase in that demand in the second quarter versus what — I know that began to spike up in the first quarter?

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Okay. So Brian, when you look at our flows and the growth on a year-over-year basis, about half of it is flows that would include net new, new business and it would also include any lost business and any organic flows from existing clients. So hooking on some winners as they do — as they generate new funds, that would be a new business for us. And then the combination — it’s a little more than half is market and currency, and the rest of it is coming from the client flows.

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

I’m sorry, I meant, on a sequential basis from $41.7 trillion to the $45 trillion.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Okay. On a sequential basis, that number is — it’s pretty similar. It’s probably…

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Actually, a bit more. On the sequential basis, it’s about — more of it is based on net new business and currency and markets than it was year-on-year.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes. It’s about 50-50.

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Okay.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

And then you asked a question around demand for bitcoin services. And what we have mentioned earlier, we have initiated quite a few ETFs in Canada where they can be traded on the TSE. So, we’ve got 11 of the 16 ETFs that exist there and there is activity there. And Grayscale, which is the largest asset manager of digital currencies, we’ve teamed up and partnered with them, both to help them with the existing trust and when and if they get approval from the SEC to list the ETFs, they’ll take down our TA and other capabilities there as well. So, we are seeing some interest. And then we’re also seeing some interest in — on the — what I’d say, the high net worth side. So, there is some retail interest that we’re hearing through, some of the Pershing clients, as well as other wealth management players.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

And Todd, just adding to that, we have been mandated on six of the 13 filings [Technical Issues]

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

For the US.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Yes, in the US and [Technical Issues]

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Okay. Okay. That’s great. And then just a quick follow-up on the assumptions for NIR and the money market fund fee waivers. Just — you mentioned trying to move more of those excess deposits into money market funds. Just in the assumptions of the guidance that you gave, are you assuming some of that transfer from those excess deposits in terms of both the fee waivers moving down, which would be good, if you were expecting an increase in money market fund balances?

And then same with the balance sheet side, as we move into year-end given that guidance, is there an assumption of conversion of deposits to money market fund balances within that guidance?

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. And I’ll take both, and I’m sure Todd will chime in. On the waiver side, really, we’re just using the forward curve and we’re just assuming balances stay flat. As we just — as we talked about earlier before, the Fed actually taking some action with [Indecipherable] and raising the repo rate by — the reverse repo rate by 5 basis points has been extraordinarily helpful and that has put a bit of a floor in terms of gross fund yield. And so that is largely what’s driving the improvement that we expect in the second quarter from a run rate of about 200 — what was $250 million this quarter to about $225 million.

So in terms of going forward, of course, as we start to recoup some of that, it’s very dependent upon, obviously, it will be very dependent upon balance levels, but that’s going to be some time in the future. From a deposit perspective, where, as I mentioned before, we have a material amount of excess still on the balance sheet, we’re fine in terms of where we are. But yes, we’d like to manage that down a bit.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

So Brian, what I would add to that is — so yeah, we’re projecting that those balances are going to come down a little bit in the number for NIR. And you got to remember, when we had all this excess capital and there was nothing we can do about it, it wasn’t particularly in our interest to push those balances away, because they did make up — even though it was modest, they did make a little bit of an incremental income, but the return on capital was very poor. So now that we have the flexibility to manage our capital base through the new regime, we’re very much want to be much more efficient with the usage of the balance sheet.

Now, we didn’t try to marry that with how much of the balance sheet comes down, how much of that is going to pour — is going to come into fee waivers. And remember, if we are growing the money market funds, we’re waiving a pile of the fees as well. So a fee waivers go up a little bit, even though there is some net benefit to us from that. We didn’t try to solve that in the guidance that we gave you. We just made it simple, but it’s not going to be material in a material number.

Brian Bedell — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Got it. That’s great color. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Rob Wildhack with Autonomous Research.

Rob Wildhack — Autonomous Research — Analyst

Good morning, everyone. Just wanted to follow up on a couple of the business lines you called out, particularly noticed that issuer services and treasury services performed well. You mentioned some of the drivers, particularly the new products in treasury services. But wondering how sustainable you think the growth rate seen in this quarter are going forward?

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I think we continue to see, as we continue to invest in our payments platform and volumes are moving nicely and we’re capturing a little bit of market share. As we look out, we think it’s sustainable that we can see some decent growth, and we’re introducing some new products that are getting some take-up. So our — the real-time payments for collections is going to be a very interesting product, and we’ve got a pretty robust pipeline for that. And we look forward to announcing something in the not-too-distant future around opportunities there.

And so I think the team has done a good job of capturing that high-margin business. I think the sales effort globally has been strong. And I think we’re well positioned to be a provider of services around the globe. We’ve got great relationships, and I think we’re benefiting from that. So, I think there’s a little bit of room for continued growth there.

When you look at issuer services, that includes corporate trust as well as the DR business. Corporate trust, we’ve made good inroads in the CLO business. Frankly, a few years ago, we lost a little market share. We’re capturing that. We’ve rebuilt our platform there. And then very good growth in, kind of, the conventional debt servicing. And DRs, they were very much impacted by COVID. And so now that we’re seeing some of these global companies paying dividends, again, we’re seeing a little more activity there. And so I think there’s room to sustain where we are and grow a bit off of it.

Emily Portney — Chief Financial Officer

And just two quick things I’d add on the treasury services space, it’s a very fragmented market. So it’s ultimately — even a little bit of share gain actually moves the needle considerably. And in DR, as Todd alluded to, just the third quarter tends to be seasonally our best quarter. We had a very strong second quarter as — again, as I alluded to with the resumption of dividends and certainly issuance activity. So the step up will probably be a little bit less in the third quarter.

Rob Wildhack — Autonomous Research — Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

And our final question comes from the line of Rajiv Bhatia with Morningstar.

Rajiv Bhatia — Morningstar — Analyst

Good morning. Just a quick question on your margins. So your investment servicing margin was 34%. Curious if you can provide any color on the pre-tax margins of your — of the various LOBs within there? So for example, I think several years ago, you spoke about issuer services and treasury services being higher margins.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Rajiv, we don’t disclose the operating margins across the various businesses. And we did benefit in that margin, obviously, from the reserve release, because a lot of that is related to it, but we did see a little bit of underlying margin improvement. But the operating margins of the various businesses, most of them are similar to what we see across the total, for example, clearance and collateral is a bit higher.

Rajiv Bhatia — Morningstar — Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

And with that, that does conclude our question-and-answer session for today. I would now like to hand the call back over to Todd with any additional or closing remarks.

Thomas P. Gibbons — Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator. And thanks, everybody, for joining us today. I know it’s a very busy day, so we appreciate the engagement and look forward to talking to you soon. Thank you very much.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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