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'A Tale of Two Cities' in Small Business: JPMorgan CFO

Friday, 12 Apr 2013 | 12:46 PM ET
JPMorgan New CFO on Earnings & Outlook
Friday, 12 Apr 2013 | 11:15 AM ET
Marianne Lake, CFO at JPMorgan, discusses what is driving earnings, the state of consumer confidence, where she sees interest rates heading and regulation requirements.

There are two types of small businesses in the market today and they are acting very differently, said Marianne Lake, the CFO of JPMorgan Chase.

"On the small business side there is a tale of two cities," said Lake. "You have businesses that are still very concerned about the national economy, about regulation, taxation, fiscal issues. And then you have those who have built their balance sheets up and have the resources that they don't need financing to be growing."

(Read More: Why Now Is the Best Time to Be an Entrepreneur: Pro)

Consumer confidence is "generally high," according to JPMorgan data, despite coming into the quarter with fiscal issues and concerns, Lake said. Across categories, Lake sees consumers spending strongly, with an increase of 9 percent from last year.

However, she said, "when you look at the willingness for (consumers) to extend themselves and take credit, it's just a softer story" compared to small business.

(Related: Obama Proposes Tax Credit for Small Businesses)

"If you look at the underlying businesses, they're all performing strongly, growing strongly," she said, citing JPMorgan's leading investment banking fees, growth rates in deposits, and growth in asset management.

"The underlying performance of our businesses is what matters to us," she said. JPMorgan reported quarterly profit that topped analyst expectations and increased its dividend, but shares dipped as loan growth slowed and net revenue fell.

Lake said that mortgage charge-offs are diminishing steadily, but "while they're nowhere near where they need to be in terms of all-time lows, at some point they're going to get down there. Maybe towards the end of next year and into 2015."

(Read More: JPMorgan Chase Profit Beats, Dividend Up; Shares Slip)

After JPMorgan received permission from regulators to buy back stock, the remaining problems with the company were "qualitative issues, they're not quantitative issues for us," Lake said. "They're important and we're going to put in all the time and effort into fixing them."

The largest U.S. bank by deposits said it earned $1.59 a share on revenue of $25.8 billion. JPMorgan plans to raise its dividend to 38 cents a share from the current 30 cents, and repurchased $2.6 billion in common shares as a further reward for investors. It's also planning to buy another $6 billion over the next 12 months.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

—By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

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