JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday reported net income of $11.95 billion for the second quarter of 2021, a 155% increase from $4.69 billion it reported during last year’s comparable period. The bank’s boost in profit was driven in part by a credit reserve release of $3 billion compared to credit reserve builds of $8.9 billion in the prior year. The bank said its reserves for credit losses remain at $22.6 billion, an amount CFO Jeremy Barnum said reflects the remaining uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and the shape of the economic recovery.
Revenue for the quarter was $31.48 billion compared with $33.08 billion in Q2 2020, representing a decrease of 8%, a drop the bank attributed to lower corporate and investment banking revenue.
"While we're proud of the performance of the company and of our people through the crisis, the competition in every business from banks, fintechs and others is as intense as ever," Barnum told analysts Tuesday. "As we look forward to an increasingly normal environment, we are enthusiastically focused on competing for every piece of share in every market, product and business where we operate and making the necessary investments."
JPMorgan Chase’s strategy on fintech competition and acquisitions was a topic of interest among analysts Tuesday, in light of recent deals the bank has made in the sector.
In the past year, the nation’s largest bank has targeted three fintech deals focusing on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) and wealth management spaces.
At least two recent acquisitions have been international in nature. The bank agreed last month to buy British digital wealth management platform Nutmeg for a reported £700 million ($972.8 million) as it prepares to launch a digital bank in the U.K.
JPMorgan Chase is also eyeing Brazil, having purchased a 40% ownership stake in the Brazilian digital bank C6.
"We've got patience and time, and a lot of time to see if we can build something very different than we have in the United States," Dimon said of the bank’s international footprint.
Barnum noted JPMorgan's challenger status during a call with analysts Tuesday.
“It’s kind of fun to be the disrupter,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “Being in a place where we are actually the outsider disrupting through these kind of digital channels, we see it ... in addition to being compelling financially, as a really good opportunity to learn and to challenge ourselves a little bit from the inside.”
Tuesday’s earnings report was the first with Barnum as CFO. Barnum, who was previously head of global research for JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, succeeded Jennifer Piepszak in the CFO role in May.
Piepszak, along with Marianne Lake, the former head of the bank’s consumer lending unit, was elevated as co-head of JPMorgan Chase’s consumer and community banking unit.
The executive shuffle puts both Lake and Piepszak in a position to potentially succeed Dimon as CEO.
During Tuesday’s call, Barnum shed more light on the progress of the bank’s $20 billion branch expansion project, highlighting the deposits the bank gained through its growing branch network.
"We are more than halfway through our initial market expansion," Barnum said. "We have opened more than 200 new branches out of our goal of 400, which exceeded our expectations by generating $7 billion in deposits and investments."
The bank plans to have a physical presence in all 48 contiguous states by the end of the summer, he said.