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By David Henry and Dan Freed
NEW YORK Jan 13 Executives of big U.S. banks
expressed optimism on Friday about the outlook for 2017 in their
first public comments about quarterly earnings since the U.S.
presidential election in November.
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp
, the two largest U.S. banks, kicked off the corporate
reporting season on a rosy note, each reporting healthy jumps in
fourth-quarter profit. Those improvements came on the back of
trading revenue gains, higher interest rates, healthy loan
growth and cost controls.
On the flip side, the earnings of Wells Fargo & Co,
which also reported on Friday, were hurt by the fallout of a
sales scandal and a loss related to accounting, both of which
are particular to the San Francisco-based lender.
Shares of all three banks climbed on Friday morning, with
JPMorgan up 1.8 percent at $87.81, Bank of America up 1 percent
at $23.14 and Wells Fargo up 2.4 percent at $55.78.
On conference calls with reporters and analysts, top
executives of JPMorgan and Bank of America were sanguine about
topics including interest rates, loan growth, regulation and the
incoming administration of President-Elect Donald Trump.
"We are very optimistic about the future, optimistic about
new policies which could spur growth," Bank of America Chief
Executive Brian Moynihan said.
The bank's finance chief, Paul Donofrio, predicted BofA will
be able to produce an additional $600 million in the current
quarter from higher interest rates, with further gains
throughout the year. He also cited customers' "high credit
quality" and positive trends in auto, home and middle-market
loans, as being supportive of earnings.
JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon was slightly more
circumspect, but said he was comforted by the fact that Trump
was selecting people with experience to join his team. Dimon
said he was confident the incoming administration would make the
right decisions for the country.
Dimon also cited several positive economic trends that
suggest the global economy is headed in the right direction,
which helps buoy bank earnings.
"The economy is getting a little bit better," he said.
"Interest rates help and looking forward, you probably have a
better political, legal and regulatory environment."
Despite Wells Fargo's unique troubles, its chief financial
officer, John Shrewsberry, said the bank had a "solid underlying
performance," citing loan growth, good credit quality and higher
(Reporting by David Henry and Dan Freed in New York; Additional
reporting by Sweta Singh, Sruthi Shankar and Nikhil Subba in in
Bengaluru; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Bernadette