JP Morgan Chase reveals first-quarter profit jumped to $8.7bn

JP Morgan Chase said 2018 is off to a "good start" as net income jumped 35 per cent to $8.7bn (£6.1bn) in the first quarter.

The lender said sales climbed 10 per cent to $28.5bn, while net interest income rose nine per cent to $13.5bn, boosted by higher interest rates and loan growth, in the quarter to 31 March.

JP Morgan, the biggest US bank by assets, said lower costs at its card business, higher income from its auto leases and higher management in asset and wealth management also helped push revenue higher.

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Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive, said:

2018 is off to a good start with our businesses performing well across the board, driving strong top-line growth and building on the momentum from last year.

The firm added that the financial results included $505m of pre-tax market-to-market gains related to the adoption of new accounting rules for certain equity investments, adding 11 cents per share.

Dimon added that the firm remains "optimistic" about the positive impact of tax reform in the US "as business sentiment remains upbeat and consumers benefit from job and wage growth".

After an initial rise, the company's New York shares were down about half a per cent at $112.74 at the time of writing.

"While impressive, the banks profit increase needs to be put into a little bit of perspective: the new US federal tax code introduced at the end of 2017 meant that banks like JP Morgan had to book multi-billion-dollar charges in their fourth quarter earnings which brought full year earnings down. The new tax law, however, will provide banks with long-term benefits which will be felt over the coming quarters," said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index.

Cincotta said:

Nevertheless JP Morgans profit growth clearly exceeded that of its peers and that of Wall Street overall where growth has been on average 17 per cent in the first quarter.

The banks biggest growth came from equity sales and trading which was 25 per cent higher on the year. Fixed income, currency and commodity trading increased by seven per cent while banking revenue slipped three per cent.

In January, JP Morgan revealed it, along with Amazon and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway were preparing to launch a new employee healthcare company in the US.

Today, Dimon said: “We are committed to doing our part – and this company can be an engine that helps drive inclusive economic growth for all Americans, including our $20bn long-term investment in our employees and communities, and were working to tackle broader issues, like healthcare, that can help the whole country," he said.

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