JPMorgan profit hit by Madoff, weaker investment banking

Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:52pm EST
 
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By David Henry and Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co posted a 7.3 percent decline in quarterly profit on Tuesday, as legal woes and weak demand for investment banking services capped off a tough year for Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

The largest U.S. bank had $1.1 billion of legal expenses in the fourth quarter, about $850 million of which was linked to a recent settlement for failing to report its suspicions of fraud at its client Bernard Madoff's fund.

The bank agreed to some $20 billion of legal settlements in 2013 - almost equal to a typical year's profit - which covered everything from mortgages it packaged into bonds before the financial crisis, to bad derivatives trades it made in 2012.

Dimon said some investigations into JPMorgan are just beginning, implying that legal issues are likely to dog the bank for some time, even if on a smaller scale.

Legal headaches aside, the bank faces headwinds in businesses ranging from debt underwriting to advising companies on mergers. Rising bond yields are cutting into demand for issuing debt, and new rules designed to make the financial system safer are also cutting into trading volumes.

Investment banking fee revenue dropped 3 percent to $1.67 billion, and stock and bond trading revenue combined was unchanged before accounting adjustments.

Shares of JPMorgan were up 0.3 percent at $57.86 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

SLUGFEST   Continued...

 
People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz