Last year JPMorgan Chase earned more profits than it ever has before, even as its results dipped in the final quarter.
The largest lender in the US reported Friday that it raked in a record $49.6 billion in annual net income, the most ever in the history of the American banking industry. And it happened during a year that was the scariest for the industry since the financial crisis of 2008.
That result — buoyed by better loan margins and the acquisition of failed regional lender First Republic — was 31% better than its bottom line in 2022.
It blew away all rivals. JPMorgan’s annual net income surpassed Bank of America (BAC) by $23 billion and Wells Fargo (WFC) by $30 billion.
JPMorgan’s separation from the rest of the pack in 2023 was on full display Friday as the biggest banks in the US reported their final quarter and full-year results.
But what was also evident Friday is that even JPMorgan is not immune from a challenging period for the banking industry. Three sizable regional banks failed last year, triggering a panic that tested numerous institutions.
JPMorgan was among the banks that paid a price for that turmoil in the fourth quarter. Its quarterly profits of $9.3 billion dipped 15% from a year earlier largely because it took a one-time hit of roughly $3 billion to pay for a special assessment charged by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
JPMorgan’s stock, which recently touched an all-time high, was up slightly in pre-market trading.
Other big banks were also weighed down by similar FDIC assessments, which were used to cover the $18 billion in losses to the FDIC’s insurance fund from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last March.
At Bank of America, fourth quarter profits fell roughly 56% from a year ago due to its FDIC assessment and other charges related to year-end ESG financing and the reconfiguration of one of its benchmark lending rates.
Wells Fargo’s quarterly profits were up 9%, but that was largely because the year-ago period had billions in operating losses from legal and regulatory costs.
David Hollerith is a senior reporter for Yahoo Finance covering banking, crypto, and other areas in finance.
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