Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s rising legal and regulatory penalties don’t mean the company’s bankers are “immoral,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said.
“We are a moral and ethical company,” Dimon said during a panel discussion at the Institute of International Finance meeting in Washington today. “We had a series of problems. Some are self-inflicted, which we’ve completely confessed to the whole world. Some are obviously industry-wide,” he said. “And yes, we’ve had some mistakes. But honestly, you can never expect to have no mistakes. So, we’ve had more than our share.”
Dimon, who runs the biggest U.S. lender by assets, presided over his first quarterly loss as JPMorgan’s CEO this week after the New York-based company took a $7.2 billion charge to cover the costs of mounting litigation and government probes. JPMorgan, with a $2.46 trillion balance sheet, has been the focus of some debates over how tightly lenders should be regulated to prevent a repeat of the 2008 credit crisis.
The panel’s moderator asked whether Dimon, 57, feels personally responsible for the quarter’s losses and read an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article that said Dimon should consider stepping down.
“Wow, that’s heavy stuff,” Dimon responded, without saying whether he’d considered resigning as head of the company, which employs about 255,000 people. “Our clients are very happy with us right now. We’re gaining market share. That’s what matters to me.”
Dimon survived a shareholder vote in May over whether the board should split his dual duties as chairman and CEO. JPMorgan has sought to bolster corporate governance and rebuild its relationship with supervisors after U.S. regulators and a Senate panel faulted the firm for withholding information related to a derivatives trading loss that cost the bank more than $6.2 billion.
JPMorgan’s board cut Dimon’s 2012 pay in half after concluding he bore some responsibility for the debacle.
--Editors: Rick Green, Christine Harper