Northern Trust (NTRS 0.73%) delivered its first-quarter results on Tuesday, reporting growth of 3.9% in net income year over year, a result that beat analysts' expectations.

Net income for the quarter was $360.6 billion, or $1.55 per share, based on total revenue of $1.6 billion, up 7% from the first quarter of 2019.

The bank made a credit provision of $61 million -- setting aside those funds in reserve to cover possible future loan losses -- after not taking a such a provision in either Q1 2019 or Q4 2019.

Northern Trust

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However, Northern Trust largely escaped the quarter in good shape because unlike most traditional banks, which issue lots of loans, it makes most of its money on fees from investment management and investment servicing.

"Our results for the quarter reflected the momentum we carried coming into the year, with the quarter's performance only partially impacted by the pandemic," said Chairman and CEO Michael O'Grady in a statement. "Turbulent times such as these show the importance of a strong capital base and liquidity profile to continue to support the activities of our clients."

Revenue from the bank's "trust, investment and other service fees" category -- it's largest revenue segment -- topped $1 billion in the first quarter, up about 8% year over year. 

Other non-interest income -- which consists of foreign exchange income, treasury management fees, security commissions and trading income, and other operating income -- grew 35%.

The bank had $10.9 trillion in total assets under custody/administration at the end of the quarter, down slightly year over year, while total assets under management reached $1.1 trillion, also down from Q1 2019.