JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected second-quarter results, with a jump in revenues easing fears of a hangover from the U.K.’s Brexit vote.
The largest U.S. bank by assets kicked off the banking sector’s earnings season on Thursday by announcing it earned $6.2 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the second quarter. Net revenue at $25.2 billion was up 4.7% on the first quarter.
Analysts had forecast $24.5 billion in sales and a $1.43 a share profit.
“Many had suspected that continued low interest rates, and the uncertainty around Brexit would translate into lackluster sales for JPMorgan and other banks in the quarter,” Fortune said. “Instead, JPMorgan boosted lending by 23% in the quarter, leading to a big revenue surprise.”
Another highlight was trading, which rose 13% year-over-year to $6.5 billion. Fixed-income trading revenue increased 35% to $3.96 billion due in part to strong activity in government and emerging-market bonds as well as in foreign-exchange. Stock-trading revenue edged up 1.5% to $1.6 billion.
On the debit side, the renewed decline in interest rates fueled a 0.05 percentage point drop in JPMorgan’s net-interest margin to 2.25%. Amid the IPO drought, investment-banking fees fell 10% to $1.64 billion.
But as The Wall Street Journal reports, the bank’s ability to increase loans “helped offset the margin pressure. JPMorgan’s loan portfolio — setting aside allowances for bad loans — grew to $858.6 billion, the largest in the bank’s history.”
“JPMorgan Chase continued to perform well in all of our major businesses,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in a news release. “We saw strong underlying performance with record consumer deposits (up 10%), credit card sales volume (up 8%), merchant processing volume (up 13%) and broad core loan growth (up 16%) — particularly in mortgage and commercial real estate.”
Dimon said the bank plans to keep serving clients across Europe, even if it becomes more expensive, and urged politicians in the U.K. and Europe to be “sensible” in Brexit negotiations.
“The impact [of Brexit] on global growth and the U.S. economy is small,” CFO Marianne Lake said.