Biggest Bank In US Records Most Profitable Year Ever Despite Sector Crisis

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Will Kessler Contributor
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Top U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase on Friday reported $49.6 billion in profits for 2023, a record for the bank, despite a sector crisis that shut down multiple smaller institutions.

Profits for the year were up for the bank despite net income bringing in only $9.3 billion in the fourth quarter, falling 15%, while the company brought in $39.9 billion in net revenue, up 12% for the quarter, according to JP Morgan’s fourth quarter earnings report. JP Morgan’s record profits come after a year of crisis for the sector, starting with a bank run in March at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which then spread to First Republic Bank and Signature Bank, prompting the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to step in and seize the banks, ultimately selling First Republic’s assets to JP Morgan. (RELATED: Biden Admin Launches Probe Into Boeing After Alaska Airlines Inflight Incident)

“2023 was a good example of the power of our investment philosophy and fortress principles, as well as the value of being there for clients — as we always are — in both good times and bad times,” Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, said in the report. “The result was continued growth broadly across the Firm. The U.S. economy continues to be resilient, with consumers still spending, and markets currently expect a soft landing. It is important to note that the economy is being fueled by large amounts of government deficit spending and past stimulus.”

The bank’s fourth quarter profits were cut down by a $2.9 billion payment to the FDIC to replenish the government deposit insurance fund, according to the earnings report. Federal regulators facilitated an auction among top banks for First Republic assets after its failure last year, with JP Morgan ultimately acquiring $92 billion in deposits and a majority of First Republic’s $173 billion in loans and $30 billion in securities.

In the midst of the banking crisis, the Federal Reserve created the bank term funding program in an effort to give struggling banks funds to combat losses from fleeing depositors. Following projections of lower future interest rates, banks have been able to profit off of the program by accruing interest on the difference.

Depositors have increasingly fled smaller banks in exchange for megabanks, which they see as less likely to experience bank runs or all-out collapses like what happened at SVB. Bigger banks can also afford to raise return rates due to their wider asset and client pools, while small banks cannot.

JP Morgan referred the Daily Caller New Foundation to the fourth quarter earnings report.

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