Bank of America's profit climbed 32 percent to $7.2 billion in the three months through September, driven by climbing interest rates and a lower federal income tax bill.

Net interest margin, the return on loans after accounting for payments to depositors, widened six points to 2.42 percent, the Charlotte, N.C.-company said in a statement. The gains, mirrored by rivals, follow three rate increases by the Federal Reserve so far this year, which have left the central bank's benchmark at a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

Lending in consumer banking, Bank of America's largest business, grew 6 percent to $285 billion as Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan shifted customers from branches to less-costly digital services that clients typically find easier to use.

"Earnings are a record," Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio told reporters. "We feel really good about our consumer businesses in 2019, and we feel really good about the U.S. economy. Consumer confidence is at a historically high level, driven by a strong economy, job growth and wages that are starting to rise."

Like JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. lender, Bank of America noted potential long-term risks from rising U.S. tariffs that President Trump has imposed to coerce U.S. partners and competitors into negotiating better trade deals. The White House is charging double-digit duties on steel and aluminum and has set levies on $250 billion of Chinese goods while threatening tariffs on automobiles and parts.

"We are closely watching for escalation and impacts but at this point, we view tariffs as manageable," Donofrio said. "We don't view the actions to date as material in the context of a $20 trillion U.S. economy."

Total income tax expense in the third quarter fell 16 percent to $1.83 billion after last year's GOP-led tax cuts trimmed the top corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, the bank said.