JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit as legal costs exceeded $1 billion in the wake of government probes, leading Chief Executive Jamie Dimon to claim banks were “under assault.”
JPMorgan agreed in November to pay $1 billion in penalties over its conduct in foreign exchange markets. Investigations into that and other areas of the bank’s business, including alleged manipulation of Libor interest rates, are continuing.
“Banks are under assault,” Dimon said on a call with reporters, responding to a question about legal costs.
“We have five or six regulators coming at us on every issue,” he said, taking a less conciliatory tone after admitting last year that he had a “tin ear” when dealing with officialdom.
However, while legal expenses rose to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, from $847 million a year earlier, total legal costs of $2.9 billion for the year were far less than the $11.1 billion recorded in 2013.
Poor Jamie. He’ll have to sell off one of the houses in the Hamptons to pay for his lawyers. How can he live like this?