JPMorgan's first quarter profit slumps 69% on coronavirus loan provisions

Provision for credit losses jumped over five-fold to $8.3 billion in the first quarter

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

JPMorgan Chase's quarterly profit slumped by more than two-thirds as the coronavirus pandemic and record low oil prices forced the largest US bank by assets to boost reserves to protect it from a wave of potential loan defaults.

Provision for credit losses jumped over five-fold to $8.3 billion (Dh30.4bn) in the first quarter, with two-thirds of the additional credit reserves taken for consumer loans.

"Given the likelihood of a fairly severe recession, it was necessary to build credit reserves," JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

Mr Dimon had warned shareholders last week that the coronavirus crisis would hurt profits "meaningfully" through 2020.

The pandemic has shut down businesses, put nearly 17 million people out of work in the US alone and is expected to cause a global recession not seen in generations.

The bank's net income fell to $2.87bn, or 78 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $9.18bn, or $2.65 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected $1.84 per share, according to Refinitiv. It was not immediately clear if the reported numbers were comparable with estimates.

Profit was also hurt by a $951 million charge in its investment bank due to a markdown on the bank's bridge book.

There have so far been more than 1.9 million reported cases of Covid-19, the deadly respiratory disease stemming from the virus, and over 120,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking its spread. More than 460,000 have recovered.