Upbeat Wells Fargo and JP Morgan a surprise for Wall Street

JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo kicked off the Wall Street first quarter reporting season yesterday with better-than-expected results.

Analysts had been predicting a 10 per cent drop in profits at JP Morgan, but the bank, which employs more than 10,000 people in London, made $5.4bn (£3.4bn), only slightly down on the $5.6bn it reported a year ago and much better than the $3.7bn it made in the final quarter of last year.

The forecast-beating performance was driven largely by much-improved results from its domestic mortgage business and a better-than-expected performance at the investment bank. That pushed pay and bonuses sharply higher from the dismal last quarter of last year.

Its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, said: "The firm reported strong revenue for the first quarter of 2012 of $27.4bn, up 24 per cent compared with the prior quarter and up 6 per cent compared with the prior year."

Profits at the investment bank, which last week lost one of its star deal makers in London, Ian Hannam, were down 29 per cent on a year earlier at $1.68bn but more than double the $726m made in the fourth quarter.

That was reflected in the amount paid to JP Morgan's investment bankers, where the average rose to $112,000 for the three months, up from $45,000 in the final quarter of 2012.

Mr Dimon signalled a renewed push for growth: "As we look toward the future, we continue to build our businesses by investing in infrastructure, systems, technology, and new products, and by adding bankers and offices around the world."

He also continued his long-running defence of banks and bankers, saying: "JP Morgan Chase positively impacts the lives of millions of people and the communities in which they live. We are serving them each day, putting our resources and our voices to work on their behalf."

Earning per share rose by 2 cents to $1.31.

Separately yesterday, Wells Fargo reported a higher, first-quarter profit as the fourth-largest US bank set aside less money for bad loans. Its net profits came in at $4.25bn, up from $3.76bn a year ago.

The bank, the largest mortgage lender in the US, said its home mortgage originations rose to $129bn from $89bn a year ago.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected