Euro zone not yet fixed: JPMorgan's Dimon

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 | 8:45 AM ET
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The euro zone will continue to have problems for many years to come, according to Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's chief executive and chairman.

Mr Dimon, who spoke to CNBC exclusively Monday, said that although sentiment has improved in Europe, the problems that have plagued the region have not yet been fixed.

"Recovery in Europe has been a rocky road and there have been lots of ups and downs, but as (European Central Bank President ) Mario Draghi recently said, there is still a lot more to do."

(Read more: JPMorgan sees some ugly firsts with earnings)

Speaking to CNBC last week, Draghi warned that while 17 country euro zone had pulled out of recession, the recovery was "gradually progressing but it's still weak, uneven, and fragile."

Dimon, who has been the focus of intense regulatory pressure in the US in recent weeks, said that the bank supported the European project, which he called "one of the greatest of all human endeavors".

The single currency union has been shaken by a the global financial crisis and three-year struggle over too much government debt, which has seen four countries rescued with multibillion-euro loans.

"Over the last five years markets have panicked in reaction to Europe because of fear," Dimon added. "That's to be expected, and it's not to say that the opposite reaction isn't also wrong.

(Read more: JPMorgan Faces Possible Penalty In Madoff Case)

"But I don't worry about the ups and downs of Europe's economy – that is not how you run a business."

He also reiterated the bank's commitment to the region. "JP Morgan is not a fair-weather friend. We didn't run out of Greece or Spain.

"It is all about managing your risk. And we will go on living through the ups and downs."

In the US, JPMorgan has been negotiating a record-breaking $13bn settlement to settle civil cases pending with the Justice Department, the New York Attorney General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency over its handling of mortgage-backed securities that plummeted in value during the housing crash of the late 2000s.

Last week JPMorgan agreed the details to $5.1bn of the fine but the remaining $8.1bn still has to be outlined by regulators.

(Read more: JPMorgan in $5.1 billion deal with housing agency)

Bankers across the industry are watching the negotiations carefully as the way US regulators explain the billion-dollar fine will create a framework that will be applied to other banks that also sold mortgage-backed securities.

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