Strong growth across its banking and asset management segments drove JPMorgan Chase's fourth quarter earnings higher, the bank reported on Wednesday, defying concerns about the global economy and beating Wall Street's expectations.
Despite the constructive earnings results, JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon paid a hefty price for a trading scandal in the U.K. that cost the bank more than $6 billion. After a report faulted the bank's risk controls, the board stripped Dimon's of more than half of his 2011 total pay, approving compensation of only $11.5 million versus $23 million in the previous year.
The so-called "London Whale" imbroglio became a major source of embarrassment for Dimon, one of Wall Street's longest serving chief executives who has publicly complained about efforts to tighten banking regulation.
The Whale incident "scared" the bank, Dimon acknowledged on a conference call with investors and reporters on Wednesday. The bank's chief added that he respected the board's verdict on his pay.
He admitted there had been changes to JPMorgan's oversight as a result, helping the mega bank to get "stronger, better, smarter and tougher."
The banking giant posted fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.39 per share, up from 90 cents a share in the comparable year-ago quarter and above Thomson Reuters' consensus estimates of $1.16. During the quarter, JPMorgan posted revenues of $24.4 billion, up from $22.2 billion a year ago and broadly in line with analysts' expectations.