Breakingviews

JPMorgan results offer compelling case for fintech

January 14, 2016

Jamie Dimon’s bank is lending more and reducing drags on capital. Yet Q4 return on equity was only 9 pct and relied heavily on one-offs – and the bank is a top performer in the industry. Rising interest rates won’t help much, but new technology could boost revenue and savings.

Jamie Dimon, 10 years on, is hard bank CEO to beat

December 30, 2015

Looking back on a decade running JPMorgan, the boss has had missteps like the London Whale, big legal fines and clashes with regulators. Yet Dimon has fashioned a bank with leading market share, top-tier returns and a head start in fintech. It’s well placed for the next 10 years.

JPMorgan throws down against more than just Apple

October 27, 2015

Its Chase Pay smartphone wallet is a clear challenge to the iPhone maker’s burgeoning rival. By lowering fees, absorbing fraud liabilities and allowing retailers to offer their own loyalty programs, however, JPMorgan is also putting banks and the likes of Amex on the back foot.

Wall Street lead over EU banks looks set in stone

June 17, 2015

European trading and advisory revenue is down 30 pct since 2010 while U.S. investment banking has grown. Now Deutsche Bank and HSBC are cutting further, even more ground will be ceded. The region’s tentative recovery and capital markets project offer only slim hope of a reversal.

More Wall Street CEO cash is hint for shareholders

January 23, 2015

JPMorgan is paying a portion of Jamie Dimon’s bonus in hard money for the first time since 2011. Goldman is boosting Lloyd Blankfein’s cash. Meanwhile, stock gains are slowing. Bank bosses still get most of their comp in shares. But the switch may suggest equity has less to offer.

Old M&A dogs try old tricks with new activist fund

January 21, 2015

Former JPMorgan CFO Doug Braunstein and lawyer Jim Woolery have collected $250 mln and a CEO network to kick-start a fund to buy small stakes in companies and persuade them to do value-enhancing deals. The question is whether there’s room for permanently well-mannered activism.

JPMorgan soul-baring cuts room for error

December 24, 2014

Jamie Dimon’s bank has followed Goldman Sachs’ 2011 lead by publishing a report detailing how it has responded to crises. Amid the PR-speak are some worrying admissions and much-needed improvements. Future failures and shareholder concerns will be harder to explain away.

FX fines are wake-up call on self-policing

November 12, 2014

The $3.4 bln settlement for five banks works out on average at 20 pct higher than Libor – because the firms failed to mend their ways. Regulators are seeking yet tougher internal controls. Banks have a last chance to show they can treat clients fairly.

MetLife CEO should revel in his anonymity

July 29, 2014

That almost no one knows ol’ so-and-so is good for shareholders. How he handles the mega-insurer’s likely designation as a systemic threat could change that. A Jamie Dimon-style fight would be foolish. Better to speak softly and keep the name Steve Kandarian out of headlines.

BofA loss provides valuable mega-bank perspective

April 16, 2014

Some $6 bln of legal costs chewed up all the U.S. bank’s Q1 profit. It took half as much again to cause a quarterly loss at JPMorgan last year. BofA’s bad results, however, probably will leave Citi boss Mike Corbat wondering why his better-performing bank got stiffed by the Fed.