Daily News: April 11, 2014

JPMorgan 2013: “Tale of Two Cities”

In his annual shareholder letter, Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase notes that 2013 performance was unfortunately marred by significant legal settlements largely related to mortgages that cost the company $8.6 billion after-tax.

“When I look back at our company last year with all of our ups and downs,” Dimon said “I see it as A Tale of Two Cities: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ We came through it scarred but strengthened — steadfast in our commitment to do the best we can.”

The following was excerpted from Dimon’s shareholder letter:

“As tough as the year was — the company was under constant and intense pressure — I can hardly express the admiration, even pride, I feel because of the enduring resolve and resiliency of our management team and our employees. They never wavered as they attacked our problems while maintaining a relentless focus on serving our clients. We all owe them a great deal of gratitude.

The bad news was bad. The most painful, difficult and nerve-wracking experience that I have ever dealt with professionally was trying to resolve the legal issues we had this past year with multiple government agencies and regulators as we tried to get many large and risky legal issues behind us, including the Chief Investment Office (CIO) situation (that happened in 2012) and mortgage-related matters (that happened
primarily in 2005-2008), a significant portion of which occurred at heritage Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

There is much to say and a lot to be learned in analyzing what happened, but I am not going to do so in this letter — more distance and perspective are required. Suffice it to say, we thought the best option, perhaps the only sensible option — for our company, our clients and our shareholders — was to acknowledge our issues and settle as much as we could all at once, albeit at a high price. This allowed us to focus on what we are here for: serving our clients and communities around the world.

The good news is that our four franchises maintained — and even strengthened — our leadership positions as we continued to gain market share and improve customer satisfaction in every business.”

To link to the JPMorgan Chase shareholder letter, click here.