JPMorgan Chase, the US banking corporation, has reported a drastic fall in profits at the beginning of the year, which it attributes to a decline in its mortgage business.
The bank said net income in the three months to the end of March was $5.3bn (£3.1bn) – a fall of 19% compared with a year earlier. Profits from its mortgage business stood at $114m, down $559m from last year. The figures mark the second successive quarterly fall in profits at the bank.
It comes as Wells Fargo, the biggest US mortgage lender, reported a higher-than-expected 14% rise in first-quarter net profit. But it said the rise in profits was the result of a series of equity investment gains, which helped offset a continuing slowdown in its home loan business. It said net income rose to $5.6bn in the first three months of 2014, from $4.93bn a year earlier.
Both JPMorgan and Wells Fargo suffered from a fall in remortgaging activity. Wells Fargo provides almost one in five US home loans. It said income from mortgage banking fell by 46% to $1.5bn from $2.7bn a year earlier.