April 11, 2014 - 18:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase reported a sharp fall in profits at the start of 2014, which it blamed on declines in its mortgage business, BBC News reports.
The bank said net income in the three months to the end of March was $5.3bn - a fall of 19% compared with a year earlier.
Profits from its mortgage business stood at $114mln, down $559m from last year. The figures mark the second successive quarterly fall in profits at the bank.
Profits from its corporate and investment banking division stood at $2bn, down from $2.6bn just three months earlier.
The results follow a 2013 marred by huge legal settlements over JPMorgan's mortgage practices prior to the 2008 crisis.
The "London whale" trading scandal and other controversies including legal costs relating to the fraudster Bernie Madoff also dented earnings in 2013.
JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon still described the bank's first quarter results as "good" given the industry-wide headwinds in both investment banking and mortgages.
"We have growing confidence in the economy - consumers, corporations and middle market companies are in increasingly good financial shape and housing has turned the corner in most markets - and we are doing our part to support the recovery," Dimon said.
Dimon called the conditions of 2013 "painful and nerve-wracking" in a letter to shareholders in April.
However, bank officials are hopeful 2014 will see fewer large legal settlements with regulators and private parties.