With Vaccines and Stimulus on the Way, Banks Brighten Their Outlook
The results showed that JPMorgan’s retail customers bought homes and cars. The number of mortgages and car loans increased by 20 percent compared to the previous year. The bank’s earnings from trading stocks rose 32 percent, while earnings from trading bonds, currencies, commodities and other products rose 15 percent from the same period last year.
Citigroup announced on Friday that it had released nearly $ 1.5 billion from its reserves, but it was insufficient to increase its quarterly earnings over the same period in 2019. The bank had profits of $ 4.6 billion on revenues of $ 16.5 billion. Both sales and earnings were lower than in the previous year.
The bank’s profits have been hurt as its credit card users around the world reduced their activities. Deposits at the global bank increased 19 percent, but the amount earned from card usage decreased, a component of a 14 percent decline in revenue. On Wall Street, Citigroup outperformed a year earlier. Profits from trading stocks rose 57 percent, while profits from trading bonds and other products rose 7 percent.
Wells Fargo has also released $ 757 million from its reserve pool, but said the change was due to the sale of its student loan business rather than a reassessment of its economic prospects. The bank earned $ 3 billion in the fourth quarter, slightly more than in the same quarter of 2019, although its revenue fell from $ 19.8 billion to nearly $ 18 billion.
Banks continue to assume that many of their customers will eventually reach a point where they can no longer pay back part of their loans and there will be no economic funds or unemployment benefits to stay afloat. But at the moment this settlement looks even further – maybe not until the middle of next year, because of the new impulses. Meanwhile, many borrowers who appeared to have struggled to pay their bills were able to keep payments on better than expected, Citis told Mr. Mason.
Wells Fargo chief executive Charles W. Scharf said the bank’s results, which showed significant spending limiting its ability to generate a profit, reflected its efforts to deviate from its previous abusive practices. The bank has had to revise its monitoring of its operations to identify illegal or harmful activity and has invested significant sums in the overhaul.
“We are making progress,” said Scharf in a statement on the financial results. He noted that the improved economic outlook was an additional source of hope.
“With a more consistent, broad-based recovery, and as we continue to push our agenda, we expect you will see this franchise be capable of much more,” said Scharf.