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JP Morgan profit falls on US oil loans

BBC News BBC News 13/04/2016
Exterior of JP Morgan Chase HQ in New York © Getty Images Exterior of JP Morgan Chase HQ in New York

JP Morgan Chase has reported a 6.7% drop in quarterly profits as it set aside more funds to cover potential losses at oil and gas companies.

It was also hit by a fall in revenue from trading and investment banking.

Net profit fell to $5.52bn (£3.87bn) in the three months to the end of March from $5.91bn a year earlier.

The bank's provisions for loan losses nearly doubled to $1.8bn in the first quarter, from $959m in the same quarter last year.

Oil worries

US shale oil companies have come under increasing pressure in the past year as the price of oil has plummeted.

That has forced banks to raise the money they set aside to cover the possible failure of energy firms.

In February, JP Morgan said it would set aside an additional $500m (£357m) to cover potential losses from its exposure to the oil and gas sector.

The bank has now set aside a further $713m to cover potential losses from oil and gas and commodities firms.

Of that total, $529m covers loans to oil and gas firms and $162m is allocated for loans to metals and mining firms.

Global worries

The bank said total revenue fell 3% to $24.08bn.

Other factors are also hurting the banking industry including the low interest rate environment, and a slowdown in global growth, particularly in emerging markets.

Banks also say that the rising cost of regulation and requirements to hold more funds in reserve are hampering profit growth.

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan's chairman and chief executive, admitted "challenging markets" had "impacted the industry".

"We maintained our leadership positions and market share in the corporate and investment bank and asset management, reflecting the strength of our platform. Even in a challenging environment, clients continue to turn to us in the global markets and we saw positive net long-term asset flows in asset management, " he added.

JP Morgan is the first US bank to report quarterly results.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo, the second and third-largest US banks after JP Morgan, report on Thursday.

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