JPMorgan Chase's profits surge on reserve release, trading boon

New York (AFP) –


JPMorgan Chase reported a surge in first-quarter earnings on Wednesday following hefty reserve releases in the recovering economy and a blowout performance in investment banking.

Earnings came in at $14.3 billion at the big US bank, about five times the level from the year-ago period. The result included $5.2 billion in releases of funds set aside earlier in the pandemic due to fears of bad loans.

Revenues of $33.2 billion were up 14 percent from the year-ago period.

JPMorgan, the largest US bank by assets, turned in an especially strong performance in corporate and investment banking, thanks to gains in advisory fees and a big increase in commissions tied to trading in financial markets.

In consumer banking, JPMorgan pointed to a return in consumer spending to pre-pandemic levels. Home lending originations were strong, but the bank expects this area to cool with higher interest rates.

The bank's positive results were offset somewhat by lower net income compared with the year-ago period, due in part to a rise in deposits requiring interest payments.

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the results were "partially driven by a rapidly improving economy," as well as reserve releases.

"With all of the stimulus spending, potential infrastructure spending, continued Quantitative Easing, strong consumer and business balance sheets and euphoria around the potential end of the pandemic, we believe that the economy has the potential to have extremely robust, multi-year growth," Dimon said.

Shares of JPMorgan fell 0.5 percent to $153.25 in pre-market trading.