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M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)
Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call
July 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Welcome to the M&T Bank second quarter 2018 earnings conference call. It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to Don MacLeod, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Don MacLeod -- Director of Investor Relations 

Thank you, Maria, and good morning. I'd like to thank everyone for participating in M&T's second quarter 2018 earnings conference call, both by telephone and through the webcast. If you've not read the earnings release we issued this morning, you may access it along with the financial tables and schedules from our website, www.mtb.com, and by clicking on the Investor Relations link, and then on the events and presentations link.

Also, before we start, I'd like to mention that comments made during this call might contain forward-looking statements relating to the banking industry and to M&T Bank Corporation. M&T encourages participants to refer to our SEC filings, including those found on forms 8-K, 10-K, and 10-Q for complete discussion of forward-looking statements.

Now, I'd like to introduce our Chief Financial Officer, Darren King.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Don and good morning, everyone. M&T's results for the second quarter represent a continuation of the trends we've been seeing for the past several quarters. These include continued growth in net interest income, which was up nearly 8% compared with last year's second quarter, expenses that remain well-controlled, notwithstanding the steps we're taking to redirect savings from the lower tax rate into higher compensation for certain employees, a credit environment that remains stable with further declines in non-accrual loans, and a net charge off ratio at just 16 basis points for the quarter.

These factors, combined with the impact from capital distributions, consistent with our 2017 CCAR capital plan and subsequent resubmission, have led to continued improvement in our returns on both assets and common equity.

As announced in late June, M&T's revised capital plan for the 2018 CCAR cycle received no objection from the Federal Reserve. The plan includes a 25% increase in the quarterly common stock dividend to $1.00 per share, which will be considered by the board this quarter. The plan also calls for $1.8 billion of common stock repurchases to be completed over the four-quarter period that began July 1st. The board's stock repurchase authorization required to implement the buyback plan was announced by means of an 8-K filing yesterday.

Now, let's take a look at the specific numbers. Diluted GAAP earnings per common share were $3.26 for the second quarter of 2018, improved significantly from $2.23 in the first quarter of 2018 and $2.35 in the second quarter of 2017. Net income for the quarter was $493 million, also up sharply from $353 million in the link quarter and $383 million in the year ago quarter.

On a GAAP basis, M&T's second quarter results produced an annualized rate of return on average assets of 1.7% and an annualized return on average common equity of 13.32%. This compares with rates of 1.22% and 9.15%, respectively, in the previous quarter. Included in GAAP results in the recent quarter, where after tax expenses from the amortization of intangible assets amounting to $5 million or $0.03 per common share, little change from the prior quarter.

Consistent with our long-term practice, M&T provides supplemental reporting of its results on a net operating or tangible basis, from which we have only ever excluded the after-tax effect of amortization of intangible assets, as well as any gains or expenses associated with mergers and acquisitions when they occur.

M&T's net operating income for the second quarter, which excludes intangible amortization, was $498 million, up from $357 million in the link quarter, and $387 million in last year's second quarter. Diluted net operating earnings per common share were $3.29 for the recent quarter, up from $2.26 in 2018's first quarter, and $2.38 in the second quarter of 2017.

Net operating income yielded annualized rates of return on average tangible assets and average tangible common shareholders equity of 1.79% and 19.91% for the recent quarter. The comparable returns were 1.28% and 13.51% in the first quarter of 2018.

In accordance with the SEC's guidelines, this morning's press release contains a tabular reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP results, including tangible assets and equity. As a reminder, the year over year comparisons for both GAAP and net operating earnings were impacted by the reduction in federal income tax rates for 2018 and beyond, with M&T's current effective tax rate some 11 percentage points lower in 2017. GAAP pre-tax income in the recent quarter improved by 10% from the year ago quarter while pre-tax net operating income improved by 9%.

Recall that both GAAP and net operating earnings for the first quarter of 2018 were impacted by certain noteworthy items. During the first quarter, M&T increased its reserve for litigation matters by $135 million to reflect the anticipated settlement of the Wilmington Trust Corporation shareholder litigation. That increase on an after-tax basis reduced net income by $102 million or $0.68 of diluted earnings per common share.

Also, during the first quarter of 2018, M&T received income of $23 million from Bayview Lending Group, which was included in other revenues from operations. This amounted to $17 million after-tax effect or $0.12 for diluted common share.

M&T's results for the first quarter also included a $9 million tax benefit related to accounting guidance for equity compensation. That amounted to $0.06 per diluted common share while reducing the effective tax rate for the first quarter to 22.99%.

Turning to the balance sheet and the income statement, taxable equivalent net interest income was $1.01 billion in the second quarter of 2018, up $34 million from the previous quarter. The comparison with the prior quarter reflects an expansion of the net interest margin to 3.83%, up 12 basis points from 3.71% in the link quarter, combined with the impact from one additional accrual day in the recent quarter.

The primary driver of the wider net interest margin was the further increases in short-term interest rates arising from the Fed's March and June rate actions. On top of that, one-month LIBOR, the index to which a majority of our commercial loans are tied, has maintained a wider than normal spread to the Fed fund's target rate. That wider spread persisted for a long period than was the case last quarter.

In addition, we continue to experience less deposit pricing reactivity than we have been modeling. We estimate these factors added a benefit to the net interest margin of as much as 12 basis points in 2018's second quarter. Other very modest positive factors were offset by the impact from the additional day in the quarter compared to the first quarter.

Average loans declined by $360 million or less than 1% compared with the previous quarter. The largest factor in the decline is the continued runoff of the Hudson City Mortgage loan portfolio. Putting that aside, other loan categories grew less than 1% in the aggregate. Looking at loans by category on an average basis compared with the link quarter, commercial and industrial loans were up slightly about 1% compared with the link quarter driven by growth in floor plan balances. Paydowns by commercial customers continue to be a headwind.

Commercial real estate loans were effectively flat compared with the first quarter. As noted, residential real estate loans, which are largely comprised of mortgage loans acquired in the Hudson City transaction continued the expected pace of paydowns. The portfolio declined by some 3% or approximately 13% annualized, consistent with previous quarters.

Consumer loans were up less than 1%. Seasonal strength in recreation finance loans were offset by a slight decline in indirect auto loans and the continuation of the long-term trend of declines in home equity lines and loans.

Regionally, we're continuing to see good loan growth in New Jersey, where we're still building out our commercial banking franchise from what was Hudson City's historical thrift business model. Areas surrounding New Jersey, including New York City, Philadelphia, and Tarrytown, which in the aggregate, comprised our metro region, were another area of relative strength.

Average earning assets declined by about 1% or slightly over $1 billion, which includes the $360 million decline in average loans. Average investment securities declined by $610 million, reflecting our preference to place cashflows received from maturities and MBS principal amortization at the Fed rather than invest into securities in the current rate environment.

Average core customer deposits, which exclude deposits received at M&T's Cayman Islands office, CDs over $250,000.00, and broker deposits declined an estimated 1% compared with the first quarter. This primarily reflects the loss of commercial escrow deposits, which we noted on the April call.

In addition, we're seeing some flows of non-maturity deposits into time accounts, which you would expect at this point in the interest rate cycle, and we're having increasing discussions with our commercial customers about optimizing their cash balances.

Turning to non-interest income, non-interest income totaled $457 million in the second quarter compared with $459 million in the prior quarter. As noted, the first quarter included $23 million of income from Bayview Lending Group.

Mortgage banking revenues were $92 million in the recent quarter, compared with $87 million in the link quarter. Residential mortgage loans originated for sale were $644 million in the quarter, up above 3% in the first quarter. Total residential mortgage banking revenues, including origination and servicing activities, were $61 million, essentially flat compared to the prior quarter.

Commercial mortgage banking revenues were $31 million in the second quarter, compared with $36 million in the link quarter, reflecting increased origination activity. Trust income was $138 million in the recent quarter, up from $131 million in the previous quarter and 9% above the $127 million in last year's second quarter.

Results for the recent quarter and the year ago quarter both include some $4 million of seasonal fees earned for assisting clients in preparation of their tax returns. Service charges on deposits were $107 million, improved from the $105 million in the first quarter. Gains on investment securities were $2 million in the recent quarter compared with a $9 million loss in the first quarter. This volatility comes as a result of changes in the fair value of our GSE preferred stock, which prior to 2018 had been recorded and accumulated to other comprehensive income.

Included in other revenues are certain categories of commercial loan fees, including letter of credit and loan syndication fees, which remain somewhat subdued, in line with the current commercial lending environment.

Turning to expenses, operating expenses for the second quarter, which exclude the amortization of intangible assets, were $770 million, down from $927 million in the previous quarter. As noted, the first quarter's operating expenses included the $135 million addition to the litigation reserve for the Wilmington Trust Corporation litigation matter.

Salaries and benefits declined by $45 million to $419 million, reflecting a return to more normal levels from the seasonally high levels in the first quarter. Partially offsetting this are the initial actions we've taken to deploy some of the savings from lower tax rates into higher wages for certain employees. This program won't reach its full run rate until the fourth quarter.

Excluding last quarter's addition to the litigation reserve, other costs of operations increased by approximately $20 million, which includes higher advertising expense as well as the cost of legal services arising from the Wilmington Trust litigation.

The efficiency ratio, which excludes intangible amortization from the numerator and securities gains from the denominator, was 52.4% in the recent quarter. That ratio was 64% in the previous quarter and 52.7% in 2017's second quarter.

Next, let's turn to credit. Credit quality continues to be in line or even slightly better than our expectations. Annualized net charge-offs as a percentage of total loans were 16 basis points for the second quarter, down slightly from 19 basis points in the first quarter. The provision for credit losses was $35 million in the recent quarter, which matched net charge-offs. The allowance for credit losses was unchanged at 1.02 billion at the end of June. The ratio of allowance to total loans was also unchanged at 1.16 percent.

Non-accrual loans were $820 million at June 30th, down from $865 million at the end of the first quarter. The ratio of non-accrual loans to total loans fell by 6 basis points, ending the quarter at 0.93 percent. Loans 90 days past due, on which we continue to accrue interest, excluding acquired loans that have been marked to a fair value discounted acquisition, were $223 million at the end of the recent quarter. Of these loans, $202 million or 91%, were guaranteed by government-related entities.

Turning to capital, M&T's common equity tier one ratio was an estimated 10.5%, compared with 10.59% at the end of the first quarter, reflecting strong earnings retention during the second quarter, net of share repurchases, and the impact from the end of period change and risk-weighted assets. During the second quarter, M&T repurchased 2.6 million shares of common stock at an aggregate cost of $475 million.

Turning to the outlook, based on second quarter results, our thoughts for 2018 remain largely in line with what we shared on both the January and April conference calls. To reiterate those thoughts, we had previously signaled that we expect the lending environment for 2018 overall to look much like 2017, with growth in total loans ranging from flat to low single-digit pace. We currently believe that loan growth for 2018 will be at the lower end of that range. I'll remind you that the third quarter usually reflects seasonal low balances for dealer floor plan customers.

A net interest margin has widened following the December, March, and June actions by the Fed, and the market is expecting one to two additional actions over the remainder of 2018. Based on the current level of interest rates and reflecting the impact of interest rate hedges we entered into last year, we continue to estimate that a hypothetical future 25-basis point increase in short-term interest rates should result in a 5 to 8-basis point benefit to the net interest margin.

This also embeds a series of assumptions on resultant deposit pricing reactivity for various deposit categories. So far, deposit pricing reactivity continues to be lower than what we've modeled. Based on those balance and margin assumptions, we expect somewhat better year over year growth and net interest income, perhaps beyond a mid-single-digit range.

Residential mortgage banking activity held up somewhat better than expected with origination volumes helped by the summer selling season. We continue to expect additional improvement in commercial mortgage banking revenues as the year progresses, although we are seeing some pressure on margins there. The outlook for the remaining fee businesses remains little changed. We continue to expect growth in the low to mid-single-digit range.

Excluding the first quarter's $135 million addition to the reserve for the Wilmington Trust Corporation shareholder litigation, we continue to expect low nominal growth in total operating expenses in 2018 compared to last year. As noted, the wage adjustments tied to the reduction in taxes will reach their new run rate by the end of the year.

Our outlook for credit also remains little changed. There are no apparent significant pressures on particular geographies or industries. As to capital, as I noted at the start of the call, we expect to begin executing the 2018 capital plan. Our estimated 10.52% CET1 ratio at the end of the quarter is still in excess of where we believe is necessary to safely operate the bank over the long-term and there's room to continue to bring that ratio down.

Of course, as you're aware, our projections are subject to a number of uncertainties and various assumptions regarding national and regional economic growth, changes in interest rates, political events, and other macroeconomic factors, which may differ materially from what actually unfolds in the future.

Now, let's open up the call for questions, before which, Maria will briefly review the instructions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. At this time, ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to ask a question, simply press * then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. Again, that is *1. If at any point your question has been answered and you wish to remove yourself from the queue, simply press the # key.

Our first question comes from the line of Ken Zerbe of Morgan Stanley.

Ken Zerbe -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Great. Thanks. Good morning. Darren, I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about the comment you made that you guys are having more discussions, if I got this right, but more discussions with companies about their excess cash. Does that imply that we should start to see a more meaningful reduction in the non-interest-bearing deposits going forward? Thanks.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So, by having those conversations, Ken, we're looking at the total balances that our commercial customers have. As interest rates go up, we'll see some movement in earnings credit rates, which means the excess balances they have available to them, they're looking to invest.

I think we'll see those balances go primarily into one of two places. One will be into sweep products, which could be on or off balance sheet sweeps. The other place we're seeing that go and seeing some activity is actually into interest-bearing commercial checking accounts, which are now an available option after the repeal of Reg Q during the crisis.

So, some cases, we're seeing stuff stay on balance sheet with changes to rates in earnings credit rates and in other cases, it's moving into other interest-bearing categories, some on balance sheets, some off. So, you'll probably see a little bit of movement there. We only saw a little bit in the second quarter, which is really seasonal.

You tend to see commercial balances peak in the fourth and first quarters as they prepare to make distributions and pay taxes. Those balances tend to come down in the second quarter and then start to build back up in the third and fourth. So, you'll see a little bit of those two effects counterbalance each other as we go forward through the year.

Ken Zerbe -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Gotcha. Just aside from the balance changes, if we can tie this into the deposit competition or deposit cost, obviously, your deposit betas seem very low this quarter, but given those discussions you're having, given from several other banks that we've heard talk about increased deposit competition and their need to increase their deposit cost to stay competitive, it seems that your NIM expectations are fairly unchanged in terms of the benefit of the 25-basis point rate hike. Can you just tie those expectations in with this presumed expectation that from here, it sounds like you're going to have a little more increased pressure on your deposit costs?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. So, I think there's a number of factors to consider when going through our balance sheet, Ken. First, we have the runoff in the Hudson City Mortgage portfolio. That right away creates, unfortunately, $400 million or $500 million a quarter of balances that are already funded. So, that gives us a little bit of help on deposit pricing.

Obviously, the deposit relationships are important to us and we'll be competitive on those. We operate in an environment that is one that is competitive and we'll match what our competition is doing there. Then we also have the Hudson City Time deposit portfolio that continues to run down.

As rates have come up, particularly in the CD space, what's rolling off there is almost priced to what the roll-on margins are. So, we have the benefit of those not actually pricing up. So, for some of the legacy customers who have lower-priced money market accounts, we'll see some of those moving into time accounts, which will put some of our pressure on interest costs. Obviously, the conversation that we just had about commercial customers will put a bit of upward pressure on deposit costs, but we do have some other offsets, which I think keep us maybe a little bit below where the industry has been.

But I think the pace that we had been on, which was pretty close to zero, I think we're probably past that we'll start to see a little bit more reactivity in deposit pricing as we go forward. That's really the 5 to 8 change that we've been talking about. We've just been running above that so far because the assets have repriced higher, faster, than Fed funds, and so far, deposit pricing has been a little bit lower than we expected. That's why we're still comfortable with that range and hopefully that makes sense.

Ken Zerbe -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

It does. Thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of John Pancari of Evercore ISI.

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Good morning. Just more specifically on the second quarter margin, given your commentary around the benefit to the margin this quarter, is there anything about the quarterly progression in the margin in the second quarter that could revert at all to the downside next quarter, given those factors that you flagged?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. The biggest thing to keep in mind there, John, is LIBOR. The assets, the vast majority of our assets are priced off of one-month LIBOR. For a lot of this year and in particular in the second quarter, LIBOR ran well in advance of Fed funds.

So, as Fed funds catches up to LIBOR or vice versa, that will put pressure on the asset yield, but as long as it's Fed funds that comes up, then there shouldn't be in any problem. If LIBOR comes down, you might see a little bit of movement down on the yield on those assets, which might put a little bit of pressure on the margin, but nothing that would take us outside of that range that we've been talking about for the last couple quarters.

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. And that goes for the loan yields as well, that 22-basis point increase in link quarter, same thing -- nothing really outsized there?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

That's right.

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. And then separately, in terms of the balance sheet moves, I know you mentioned the ongoing runoff of the Hudson City Mortgage portfolio, how much incremental runoff do you expect here? Any change in the expected pace of runoff that you see?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We've been running pretty much at this pace for the last couple of years. The vast majority that drives that is the normal amortization in paydown activity as opposed to prepayment speed. So, our expectation is that we'll continue to run in the 12% to 13% annualized rundown in that portfolio, but don't forget the dollar amount that runs off will continue to shrink as the portfolio gets smaller.

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Got it. And the dollar amount that ran off this quarter was what?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Just about $600 million.

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. That's it for me. Thanks.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Steven Alexopoulos of J.P. Morgan.

Steven Alexopoulos -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, Darren.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Steven.

Steven Alexopoulos -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Just to follow-up on the deposit conversation, given how much you guys have lagged, are you starting to see one, a higher pace of exception pricing as you're having conversations with those commercial customers, and two, are you seeing a more widespread pressure just to increase deposit rates across the board, like we've seen some other banks do recently?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I think when we look at our deposit portfolio and what's going on, it's very customer-specific and somewhat nuanced. So, for balances that are municipal deposits and some of the mortgage escrows that we talked about, those have generally been tied to Fed funds or some market level and have always moved pretty much 100% reactive with those changes and in some cases might have been more. When we talk about those commercial mortgage escrow balances that ran off, they were fairly richly priced and we can replace them for an equal spread, maybe even slightly less, which is why we were OK with that.

When we get to some of the commercial customers as rates are moving up, as we mentioned, we're seeing more attention being paid to how those balances are earning a return for corporate customers and treasurers and obviously, we continue to see large balance customers, notably wealth and private banking types of customers very focused on the return they're getting. Those prices had been moving. I would describe us as pretty much in lock step with where the market is going.

When you get to more consumer type of balances, we obviously had that Hudson City time deposit, which has really helped us manage the total cost of deposits over the course of the last, I would say, 18 months. We're at a point now where those two rate curves are starting to cross, if you will, that the Hudson City rates coming down and the non-Hudson City rates going up have kind of matched each other. So, we'll stop seeing a decrease in Hudson City, but we don't expect to see a massive increase.

Most of our action in the consumer portfolio has really been in time accounts. For us, and I think pretty much the industry, the consumer tends to be short in how they're managing their interest rate that they're earning, mainly because once you get past two years on the CD rates, the incremental earnings you're getting don't really compensate for tying up your money for the incremental time. So, most of the action has been two years and below, really around one year, and when we look at our money market rates, our rates are very competitive with those in our market.

So, as I mentioned before, I think we'll start to see a little bit more of a consistent move up in deposit pricing as we go through the rest of the year and into next year, but when we look at the path that we're on and what's happening in the market, we don't foresee a massive spike in one or two quarters. It will be more consistent through time.

Steven Alexopoulos -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. If I can ask you one separate question, if I look and see loan growth balances, they're basically down over the past year, when we think about what business confidence has done, the economy has done really well, tax benefits -- just from a big picture view, why are we not seeing stronger C&I loan growth here? Thanks.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, Steven, it's a great question. Really, there are two trends that are going on underneath that are a little bit masking each other. When we look at our origination activity, both last year and this year in the first half, in 2017, we were down in originations from '16, but '16 was a blockbuster year. 2018 over '17 is up above 6% to 8% in terms of our originations. What we've seen and we saw at the back half of '17 and we've seen again in '18 is an increased level of paydowns and payouts.

And in the C&I space, when we look underneath at what's going on, the vast majority of it is driven by merger and acquisition activity, sometimes facilitated by private equity, sometimes not. But it's customers who are selling their business entirely or selling parts of their business and taking those proceeds and paying down their loans.

So, the optimism in the economy does seem to be there, albeit maybe not as great as it was in 2016, but '18 is better than '17. It's just being masked a little bit by some of the other things that are happening in the economy with the M&A activity.

Steven Alexopoulos -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. That's great color. Thanks, Darren.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Peter Winter of Wedbush Securities.

Peter Winter -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Good morning. I'm just looking -- the loan to deposit ratio has increased to 98%. I'm just wondering about your thoughts on deposit growth going forward.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well, the loan to deposit ratio obviously is a measure that we pay a lot of attention to. I'll say again that one thing that helps the loan to deposit ratio is the Hudson City mortgages that run off. So, those create room to replace them with commercial loans, either real estate or C&I without affecting the loan to deposit ratio.

Obviously, we'll be paying attention to our deposit book, watching how customers are moving balances between categories and looking at other categories that we can grow in, things such as brokered money markets, brokered CDs is another place where we can help manage that, certainly something that we pay attention to and we'll be watching through time. Obviously, we'll be paying attention to both sides of the balance sheet, both the loans and the deposits.

Peter Winter -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

And then a follow-up -- typical question, but you've updated the guidance on the loans coming in more of the lower end of that flat to low single-digit, but is there risk that loans could decline, just given you've got that seasonality in the third quarter?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I guess when you look at both -- think about the back-half of the year. There's potential for a little bit of decline in the third quarter on an average basis just because of the auto dealer loans. But fourth quarter is usually pretty strong and you tend to see big upticks in the fourth quarter and those two should cancel themselves out. Where June ended was pretty decent and so far seems to be holding up into the third quarter, so it's way too early to declare victory there, but it's off to a good start.

Then really, the wildcard that we've been signaling for the last few quarters is just the rate of paydowns and payoffs. That's really hard to predict. That would be the risk to seeing some average decline, but we feel good because the pipeline that we ended the second quarter with was equal to or slightly better than where we ended the first quarter.

So, I see a couple of pros and cons. I guess we've been signaling this kind of balance sheet growth, really, since December, and we still feel pretty good about it. There's nothing that I see where I envision us being 3% or 4% growth, but on the contrary, I don't see 3% or 4% declines either. I think we should be right around that flat to slightly up range.

Peter Winter -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks, Darren.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Gerard Cassidy of RBC.

Gerard Cassidy -- RBC -- Analyst

Hi, Darren.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Morning, Gerard.

Gerard Cassidy -- RBC -- Analyst

Can you carve out for us -- if you take all the specialist issues that you had when you talk about the Hudson City portfolio and then the escrow deposits and stuff, if you just kind of take those away, what was the core deposit and loan growth on a year over year basis would you estimate for you guys this quarter?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, if you take out the Hudson City runoff and you look at all the other loan categories, the average loan growth was probably about 0.5% to 1%. If you look at deposits and you factor out the Hudson City runoff, which is a little bit lower, probably deposit growth was flat to down 0.5%, mainly due to those commercial mortgage escrow balances that we talked about. So, those were a couple of large things.

Underlying trends when we look at our consumer accounts and consumer growth, it's pretty steady. You'll notice in the other costs that some of those expenses were up, that's some increased advertising, which is driving some increased volume and consumers, which doesn't translate immediately into balances, but will generate balances through time as well as ease as those customers activate their debit cards and credit cards and start using them.

Solid growth in our small business customer base, which is one of our core strengths, and then continued movement in commercial customers, we'll just see, as we talked about through time, probably a slightly different profile of their balances as the mix between what stays in operating accounts or DDA versus what goes into interest checking versus what goes into sweep, I think we'll start to see some shifts as we go forward. But underlying core when we talked just about customers and the balance sheet, we feel really good about where things are.

Gerard Cassidy -- RBC -- Analyst

You guys have been very successful in years' past in making acquisitions. I recognize they're episodic, recognize you guys tend to be more of a I don't want to say distressed buyer, but you certainly don't get involved in auctions. Can you just give us an outlook for what you're seeing on the M&A front? Have your views changed on mergers and acquisitions now that Rene is at helm? And just maybe an update on that outlook.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Rene is at the helm now, but was certainly an architect of a lot of the acquisitions we've done in the past. I'm pretty positive that his thought process didn't change as his title changed. But our thoughts on acquisitions haven't really changed. We always start with the returns. In fact, that's pretty much how we think about the bank and our shareholders' capital.

We think about returns when we're investing in loans, when we're investing in technology, when we're investing in other institutions. That's really the primary driver. If we think there's a combination that makes sense where we can create value for those sets of shareholders and we've got a willing seller, then we're interested in talking to those folks.

What seems to be the case in banking right now is everyone wants to be a buyer and no one wants to be a seller. So, I think there's a lots of interest in partnerships, but I think everyone's thinking that they're the buyer, not the seller. I think that's why you're seeing some slower activity than you might expect given some of the changes that have come out recently with the regulations.

Gerard Cassidy -- RBC -- Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Saul Martinez of UBS.

Saul Martinez -- UBS -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys. A couple questions, just some follow-ups on the commercial environment -- Darren, any sense at all that trade friction, geopolitics is hitting sentiment for some of your commercial clients, even those who aren't necessarily involved in international trade?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I think the short answer is yes. I think any time the environment, there's uncertainty in it, it just causes a little bit of inactivity and paralysis, but it's not widespread. It's depending on who really is impacted by those changes. Many of our customers, given our geographies do trade across borders and can be impacted by it, but in different ways depending on whether their imports are finished goods or raw material, and then obviously with many of our customers who aren't directly impacted by it, but could be because big employers in the economy where they operate.

It's certainly something that's on their mind from our discussions with customers. I wouldn't say it's overwhelming them and that they're obsessing about it, but it's just the next thing that's on the back of their mind as they think about their business. For us, the best thing that can happen in any of these environments is just that we have some period of stable certainty or at least as close to it as we can get so people can focus on running their business.

Saul Martinez -- UBS -- Analyst

Do you think it's impacting utilization rates or anything like that or is it sort of not top of mind but something that folks are thinking about?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I think it's not top of mind, but definitely on their mind. I think it varies. I would say we've definitely seen some slight upticks in utilization this year and we tend to see people focus as much or more on borrowing or working capital and for M&A types of things as opposed to CapEx. We have seen a slight increase at CapEx, but really, when you look at where the activity is, that's not the place where we've seen it so far.

Saul Martinez -- UBS -- Analyst

Got it. If I could just switch gears a little bit, I think in the past, you've been a bit skeptical of a national digital banking strategy and a number of your competitors have talked about that and are launching national digital bank, but any evolution of your thoughts on that, whether it makes sense as a client acquisition tool or deposit gathering tool?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

To be honest with you, it's really not been at the top of our list of ways to gather deposits, but if we need to move pricing, we can do that with our existing customers and bring back some of the balances that maybe they don't have with M&T and that we can grow balances within our footprint without needing that extra funding source, where generally our experience has been that those customers are incredibly rate sensitive and also not likely to become full relationship customers.

When you look at M&T and how we've always gone to market and the value we bring, it's been bringing the whole bank to our customers to help solve their needs, whether they're individuals, whether they're small business, or whether they're commercial customers and that's really been and continues to be our focus.

Saul Martinez -- UBS -- Analyst

Okay. Great. Thanks a lot.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Matt O'Connor of Deutsche Bank.

Ricky -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hey, guys. This is actually Ricky from Matt's team. Just a quick question on the trust business. It was a strong quarter. I was wondering if you could give a little more color on --

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I'm sorry. Could you speak up a little bit, Ricky? You're a little faint.

Ricky -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Okay. Can you hear me now?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Oh, perfect. Thank you.

Ricky -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Just a question on the trust business -- I'm wondering if you could give a little more color on what drove the strength year over year and then how much of an uptick link quarter was from the seasonal tax prep piece?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, I'll answer the second one first. $4 million is approximately the increase from first quarter in tax fees, which is also pretty consistent with the increase we saw in the second quarter of 2017 over the first quarter. When you step back and you look more broadly at trust fees, there's really two primary drivers going on there.

One is we continue to grow assets under management by adding new customers and the other is existing balances are enhanced as the capital markets move up, probably two-thirds, one-third new customers versus capital markets, but both things have been working in our favor and that's what drove those increases.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Ken Usdin of Jefferies.

Josh -- Jefferies & Company -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. This is actually Josh on for Ken. So, you guys held to your guide for low nominal expense growth for this year, but could you help us think through what that implies for the second half?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Is your question for the second half in relation to the first half?

Josh -- Jefferies & Company -- Analyst

Yeah. My question is based on year over year growth for this quarter was around 3.5% over the previous 2Q. I guess that would imply a deceleration of year over year growth in the second half. Am I thinking about that correctly?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I think you've got to look at the total expenses for the year. When we gave the total expenses for the year, that includes the compensation costs in the first quarter of both years. So, typically, the second half expenses are lower than the first half, just because of the seasonal comp expenses that happened in the first quarter.

This year, the first quarter was also elevated because of the litigation reserve increases that we had of $135 million. I think if you take out the litigation reserve and you take out the seasonal comp costs, you're probably up 1%. There's some other factors that are in our other operations in the first half. One of the big ones is legal expense and that was related to the defense of the Wilmington Trust Corporation matter.

While those should come down in the second half, I'm not sure they'll be completely eliminated as that goes through the sentencing and appeal process. There's likely to be a little bit of expense in there. But some of those factors of why we think the total guidance still makes sense from full year to full year.

Josh -- Jefferies & Company -- Analyst

Okay. Got it. Could you talk through how you're thinking about layering in additional swaps as we move through the rate cycle?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

The swaps that we have on and that we look at, we kind of watch quarter to quarter. When you look at where we've been, we've kind of been two years out. As we've gone through time, the original swaps that were on when they got to about 18 months remaining on them, we extended them another six months, but really, we're trying to take some of the volatility that can come in our net interest margin, net interest income off the table and also protecting a little bit of the downside.

How much we do in swap activity going forward will also be a function of how well or how fast the deposit is repriced because at some point, as the deposits price up, that reduces some of that asset sensitivity and we don't need the swaps to take that off the table. So, we're kind of looking at how deposits are repricing, how the balance sheet is shifting as the mortgages pay down. Those things combined give us what we look at when deciding what swap activity we might choose to engage in.

Josh -- Jefferies & Company -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks for the time.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Our next question comes from the line of Erica Najarian of Bank of America.

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

Hi, good morning. I just had a few follow-up questions. Darren, you mentioned during the prepared remarks that the wider spread between LIBOR and Fed funds and the outperformance of deposit pricing was 12 basis points to the margin and I'm wondering, as we look forward, you have been recently beating that 5 to 8 basis points range. Could you break down how much of that 12 basis points is due to the LIBOR or Fed funds spread versus the outperformance on the deposit side?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, when you look at the 12, Erica, compared to our 5 to 8, we break it down that of the difference of 4, probably 3 is LIBOR and maybe an additional 1 is because of just lower than expected deposit activity. When we quote the 5 to 8, one of the things that drives that range is the pace of deposit reactivity. So, deposit reactivity is already kind of built in to that guidance.

Really, what we've seen is that one-month LIBOR move much sooner than the Fed funds and what we have traditionally seen and what we model and then just a little bit less deposit reactivity than what might be included in that 5 to 8.

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

Including that 5 to 8, what is that deposit reactivity that you have embedded in there relative to your experience today?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well, the reactivity we have embedded in there, obviously, given where we're going, is higher than what we've experienced in the last couple moves. But the reactivity when we build that up is actually done by deposit category by 25-basis point increments. So, when you look at what that's been by category, some categories have performed very close to what we expected, like the government balances and some of the mortgage escrow balances and when you look at some of the consumers, those have been in less.

When we look through the cycle, what have we experienced in the past? Probably 40% to 60% reactivity. Obviously, so far this cycle, we've gone well below that. But over the long-term, that's probably where we'd expect to run.

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

I just wanted to clarify -- I think about the overall deposit base. What is embedded in that 5 to 8 basis points is you're already through the cycle range of 40 to 60?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No. We're running below that. You can kind of see that in the moves and the deposit rates year to date.

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

Of course. I guess I was just trying to understand what was in guidance, whether or not -- just because it seems like that 5 to 8 basis points is relatively conservative outlook relative to what we've seen over the past few quarters. So, I guess what the Street has been getting wrong is perhaps the reactivity on the deposit side.

So, as we think about taking that guidance forward and taking into account everything that you said about deposit pricing going forward by category is what's embedded in that 5 to 8 basis points an assumption that we're nowhere near through the cycle cumulative range? In other words, if we don't believe that we're going to 40 to 60 next quarter, that you could outperform the 5 to 8 basis points?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. When you look at what the deposit reactivity is that's in those assumptions that we include in the K and the Q, you're probably closer to the bottom end of that through the cycle estimate. We've been running a little bit ahead of that. Until recently, I think you've seen that pace start to pick up. We would expect on a go-forward basis that we'd be closer to that 5% or 5 to 8 basis point range.

The other thing to keep in mind in there is we brought that range down a little bit because of some of the hedging activity that we had done that we had some caps and some floors and that the caps would reduce some of the upside as the rates went higher. The other thing that can kind of cause some movement from quarter to quarter just in the rage is trust demand deposits. As those come on and off the balance sheet, they can cause that net interest margin to move 2 to 3 basis points up or down depending on whether those balances are coming on or off.

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

And ladies and gentlemen, we have time for one more question. Our final question will come from the line of Brian Klock of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Brian.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

I apologize. I got on late, so if you guys went into detail on the expense questions, so you can just, I guess, give me your Readers Digest version. On the expense side, Darren, the other costs, both advertising and marketing and the other miscellaneous expenses were up a little higher than the third quarter on the other and then the advertising quarter over quarter looked a lot higher than normal. So, I know there's a question earlier as far as the second half of the year. It feels like that probably should normalize for the next two quarters. Does that make sense?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. If you look at the three big categories where there was some movement this quarter, salaries and benefits was one of them. We had talked about -- we signaled in January that increase would start to show up and it started to show up this quarter. It will continue a little bit into the third and fourth quarters before it reaches a more normalized run rate.

Advertising and promotion tends to be a little bit back end loaded in the year. For us, the sales cycle really is kind of February to November and things slow down and a bunch in December in January. So, the rate that we saw this quarter is probably more typical of what you can expect in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

Then another, there's a little bit of I wouldn't call it one-time because I don't want to misstate it, but things that shouldn't repeat themselves at the same rate, mainly some of the legal expenses that we incurred in getting to the settlement with the Wilmington Trust Corporation matter. We don't know that they will go all the way to zero as we go to the back-half of the year because there will probably still be some sentencing and appeal procedures that will require some expense, but we do expect those to be down from where they were in the second quarter.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Got it. Would it make sense to think about maybe the third quarter, the fourth quarter, if you look at your guidance, I think your nominal year over year expense growth, adjusting for the litigation expense in the first quarter, is that like a 2% year over year growth rate? Does that sound right when you say nominal?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, probably 2% to 3%.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. So, at 2%, it looks like the third and fourth quarter should be lower than the second quarter, I think that's what you mentioned on an earlier answer to an earlier question.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

In that range, yeah. It will move around a little bit, maybe third and fourth, but certainly when you look at the second half to the first half, in aggregate, the second half expenses should be less just because of the seasonal comp and the one-time litigation out, if you take those out, they're probably be pretty close to one another.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. Another question just on the FDIC surcharge, I'm not sure if you talked about it yet, but is there any assumption that this is getting close to being fully funded now? It seems like it could go away in the fourth quarter? Is that in your guidance at all?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Great clarification, Brian. We've assumed that that will go in fourth quarter.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. So, that's about, what, $10 million, $11 million a quarter as a surcharge?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Roughly, yeah.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. And, last question, sorry Darren, again, if you answered it, I apologize -- you guys did take some of the tax benefit and increased some wages. Is that something that's still going to be impacting the third quarter or is it in the run rate yet or is it still something that might be in the run rate?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It's something that has started to work its way into that line and you'll continue to see some movement up there in the third and fourth quarter. We expect the fourth quarter run rate will be fully reflective of those changes that are happening.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

I guess last question, I promise -- can you remnind me how much that is for the full-year impact? Is that $25 million?

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

On a full year basis, we think it's $20 million to $25 million, probably half of that, maybe slightly less than half in the second half of this year.

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

Great. Thanks for your time. Appreciate it.

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure.

Operator

That was our final question. I'd now like to turn the floor back over to management for any additional or closing remarks.

Don MacLeod -- Director of Investor Relations 

Again, thank you all for participating today. As always, if any of the items on the call a news release is necessary, please reach out to our Investor Relations department at (716)842-5138.

Operator

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This does conclude M&T Bank's second quarter 2018 earnings conference call. You may now disconnect.

Duration: 59 minutes

Call participants:

Don MacLeod -- Director of Investor Relations 

Darren J. King -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ken Zerbe -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

John Pancari -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Steven Alexopoulos -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Peter Winter -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Gerard Cassidy -- RBC -- Analyst

Saul Martinez -- UBS -- Analyst

Ricky -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Josh -- Jefferies & Company -- Analyst

Erika Najarian -- Bank of America -- Managing Director

Brian Klock -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Analyst

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