comments_image Comments

JPMorgan Chase profits rise on lower expenses

People walk past the JPMorgan Chase  Building on Park Avenue, May 15, 2012 in New York
People walk past the JPMorgan Chase Building on Park Avenue, May 15, 2012 in New York. JPMorgan Chase reported a 33 percent increase in quarterly earnings, and pointed in a statement on Friday to a gradually improving economy.

JPMorgan Chase reported a 33 percent increase in quarterly earnings, and pointed in a statement on Friday to a gradually improving economy.

Net income for the US banking giant came in at $6.5 billion on revenues of $25.1 billion, compared with profits from one year ago of $4.9 billion on $26.1 billion in revenues.

The US banking giant reported strong profit increases in corporate and investment banking and asset management.

"We are seeing positive signs that the economy is healthy and getting stronger," said JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon.

Earnings were also boosted by a 16 percent drop in non-interest expenses. This category included much lower litigation expenses, which were $2.7 billion this time a year ago, but which came in this quarter at just $0.3 billion.

Profits in consumer and community banking sank 12 percent however compared with the same quarter last year.

Dimon said the strengthening economy enabled the company to reduce its allowance for loan losses in consumer and community banking by $1.2 billion.

A key weakness remains the hesitancy of small businesses towards lending, he said.

"Small businesses remain cautious about the recovery and fiscal uncertainty and are not investing their capital," Dimon said.

"However, companies' balance sheets are much stronger than they were before the financial crisis and small businesses remain well positioned to invest in growth once they decide to."

JPMorgan pledged to comply with a Federal Reserve requirement to boost its capital planning requirements, after the Fed flagged weakness earlier this year.

Dimon also vowed to work with regulators to improve compliance.

JPMorgan and Dimon came in for heavy criticism after the bank lost $6.2 billion in trading losses associated with the so-called London "whale" debacle.

A congressional investigation showed that bank officials brushed off early signs of problems with the trade and kept regulators in the dark.

"We have work to do to strengthen our controls and carry out our compliance mission," Dimon said.

"To do so, we have re-prioritized our business agenda to focus on this critical effort -- it is the top priority for our company."

Share