JPMorgan Chase 3Q profits up 8% but loan growth slows

KEN SWEET
This Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, photo shows a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reports financial results Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan's third-quarter profit grew 8% thanks to higher interest rates and strong performance at its investment banking business.

Recent upticks in yields in the U.S. bond market have allowed banks to charge higher interest rates on their loans, particularly at JPMorgan with its large credit card business and home-lending operations. But the Federal Reserve's decisions to lower its benchmark interest rate this year has yet to have a significant impact on bank profits.

JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank by assets, said Tuesday that its consumer banking business reported a 5% rise in quarterly profits from a year ago. That was largely helped by more activity in its home lending business, as well as more people carrying a balance on their credit cards.

Profits at its investment bank rose 7%, driven the bank's trading desks, despite the typical slow summer months on Wall Street.

The bank as a whole earned $9.08 billion, or $2.68 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $8.38 billion, or $2.34 a share, in the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts' expectations for a profit of $2.45 a share, according to FactSet.

Total revenue at the bank was $29.34 billion, up from $27.26 billion a year earlier.

JPMorgan Chase & Co is one of four big Wall Street banks to report results Tuesday, along with Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. Investors were looking to see how the nation's biggest banks fared last quarter, particularly in light of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and fears that U.S. economic growth is slowing.

Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said he believes the U.S. consumer remains healthy.

But that strength is "being offset by weakening business sentiment and capital expenditures, mostly driven by increasingly complex geopolitical risks, including tensions in global trade," he said in a statement.

JPMorgan stood out among the four big banks that reported on Tuesday, beating on nearly every metric this quarter. Its stock rose about 4% in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

The bank's total loans, however, fell 1% in the quarter as it sold off a chunk of home mortgages. Excluding the sale, the company said loan growth was flat.

While loan growth slowed, JPMorgan was able to earn more interest income off of its existing loans.