Pandemic Profits Begin to Ebb at America’s Biggest Banks
The tumultuous pandemic economy sent big-bank profits to great heights. They’re coming back down to earth. Fourth-quarter profit fell 14% at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and 26% at Citigroup Inc., ending what had been a streak of big gains for most of 2021. Revenue didn’t budge much, but expenses rose. JPMorgan shares fell 6.2% in midday trading, and Citigroup fell 2.5%. Banks have enjoyed unparalleled growth during the pandemic, buoyed by a deal-making boom, market volatility that supercharged trading arms and a housing market that made mortgage lending more profitable than ever. Trading revenue fell 11% at JPMorgan and 17% at Citigroup, dragged down by declines in fixed-income trading. JPMorgan logged a profit of $10.4 billion, or $3.33 per share. Citigroup posted $3.2 billion, or $1.46 per share. Both beat the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.