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Biggest U.S. Banks Earn Billions, Even After Insurance Bill

The nation’s largest banks are churning out profits as interest rates remain high, even though the lenders have had to set aside billions of dollars to replenish a deposit insurance fund that was heavily depleted by a crisis among midsize banks last spring.

Profits for the fourth quarter of 2023 reported on Friday by JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo exceeded analysts expectations, and the banks, which together provide accounts for roughly a third of all Americans, each reported that their customers had kept up spending.

Citigroup, which is in the midst of a global restructuring, reported a net loss of $1.8 billion for the quarter, compared with a profit of $2.5 billion a year ago. The bank had warned that one-time expenses from its efforts to pull back from countries like Russia and Argentina were proving costly.

In the last quarter of 2023, JPMorgan earned $9.3 billion, or $3.04 per share, compared with $11 billion a year earlier. A special assessment by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had reduced per-share earnings by 74 cents, the bank said. Analysts had been expecting per-share earnings of around $3.32, so investors considered the bank’s performance to be a win once the F.D.I.C.’s one-time bill of $2.9 billion was taken into account.

The bank’s revenue for the quarter was $38.6 billion. Compared with the same period a year ago, revenue was 12 percent higher.

Unlike his counterparts at Bank of America and Wells Fargo, who appeared optimistic about the U.S. economy, JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, warned that political leaders and investors might be underestimating the economic pain that lies ahead.

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