JPMorgan Chase closed out a bumper year that yielded a record $48.3 billion in profit in 2021, while reporting strong quarterly earnings as its investment bankers raised money for companies and arranged corporate deals.
The bank, the country’s largest by assets, reported flat revenue compared with the final quarter of 2020, although profit fell 14 percent to $10.4 billion in the three-month period ending in December. Even so, its earnings of $3.33 a share surpassed analysts’ expectations. Much of the decline from last year was a result of the bank raising pay and spending more on technology, according to its earnings statement.
“The economy continues to do quite well despite headwinds related to the Omicron variant, inflation and supply chain bottlenecks,” Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, said Friday in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. “We remain optimistic on U.S. economic growth as business sentiment is upbeat and consumers are benefiting from job and wage growth.”
Investment bankers capped a blockbuster year with a 37 percent jump in fees, while revenue for the banking unit surged 28 percent to $5.3 billion. The company’s asset and wealth management division also benefited from higher management fees and growth in deposits and loans.
But there were some laggards. In the bank’s consumer division catering to Main Street customers, profit fell 2 percent to $4.2 billion. Revenue from trading fell 11 percent from a record fourth quarter a year ago, to $5.3 billion, but was still up compared with the same period in 2019.
Two other major U.S. banks, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, also report results on Friday. Three others — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — report next week.