(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), the second-largest U.S. bank, reported an eightfold jump in fourth-quarter profit, driven by a steep fall in the bank's provisions to cover bad loans.

Net income applicable to shareholders rose to $3.18 billion, or 29 cents per share, from $367 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012. The year-earlier profit was dented by about $5 billion of mortgage-related charges.

(Reporting by Anil D'Silva in Bangalore and Peter Rudegeair in New York; Editing by Ted Kerr)