Wells Fargo reported third quarter net income for its wealth management unit rose 22% year-over-year, contributing to a strong overall earnings report for the company.

The San Francisco-based firm said that net income for its Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement division rose to $550 million for the third quarter, up from $450 million from a year ago. The unit's total revenue grew 7% year-over-year, rising to $3.5 billion from $3.3 billion. Noninterest expenses rose 3%, increasing to $2.69 billion from $2.61 billion.

The firm said that the retail brokerage's client assets reached $1.4 trillion, up 8% from the same period a year-ago. Managed account assets climbed 17%, rising to $409 billion.

Advisor headcount, at 15,163 advisors, remained nearly flat year-over-year, but fell by 26 advisors from the second quarter.

The firm's wealth management division has returned consistent profits. For the second quarter, the division reported a 25% increase in net income. But wealth management's profits are smaller than those of Wells Fargo's other divisions. For example, the firm's community banking division recorded net income of $3.5 billion for the quarter.

Companywide, Wells Fargo profits rose 3% year-over-year, rising to $5.7 billion from $5.5 billion. Revenue increased to $21.2 billion from $21.1 billion, a 4.5% increase. Noninterest expenses meanwhile rose slightly to $12.2 billion from $12.1, a 1% increase.

Earnings-per-share rose 4% to $1.04 per share.

"Our strong results reflect the benefit of our diversified business model and our continued focus on our customer's needs," CEO John Stumpf told analysts during a conference call.         

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