Bank of America Corporation (BofA) on Wednesday reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2013, thanks to less mortgages losses and smaller bad loan provisions. The second largest banking group in the United States reported a net income of 3.4 billion dollars, or 0.29 dollar per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 732 million dollars, or 0.03 dollar per diluted share, in the same period of the previous year. In addition, BofA's revenue in the fourth quarter surged 15 percent year on year to 21.7 billion dollars. For the whole year of 2013, its net income increased to 11.4 billion dollars, or 0.9 dollar per diluted share, from 4.2 billion dollars, or 0.25 dollars per diluted share, in 2012. The bank's revenue in 2013 rose 7 percent to 89.8 billion dollars. "We are pleased to see the core businesses continue to perform well, serving our customers and clients," said BofA Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan. "We enter this year with one of the strongest balance sheets in our company's history," said Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson. "Capital and liquidity are at record levels, credit losses are at historic lows, our cost savings initiatives are on track and yielding significant savings." According to its financial report, the provision for credit losses declined 1.9 billion dollars from a year ago to 336 million dollars in the fourth quarter, driven by improved credit quality. Moreover, the bank's consumer mortgage business lost 1.1 billion dollars, compared with a loss of 3.7 billion dollars a year earlier. The bank's global wealth and investment management reported strong results in the fourth quarter with the net income of the business rising 35 percent from a year earlier to a record 777 million dollars.