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April 15, 2014

Fortunes Shift for Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan

“Wells Fargo showed that lending to consumers and businesses can be more lucrative than being a big name on Wall Street, upstaging J.P. Morgan Chase with its first-quarter results.

“The San Francisco bank reported a 14% rise in net income, while J.P. Morgan, based in New York and the U.S.’s largest bank by assets, suffered a 19% profit decline from last year’s first quarter.

“Friday’s earnings reports included a fall in revenue at both giant banks as they struggled with the prolonged mortgage downturn. J.P. Morgan also was hit by its outsize clout on Wall Street, as trading revenue dropped 17% to $5.1 billion. That hurt profits in the company’s investment-banking unit, which slid 24% to $1.98 billion.

“In contrast, Wells Fargo, fourth-biggest in assets, benefited from its focus as a lender to consumers and businesses. Total loans at Wells Fargo rose 4% and were flat at J.P. Morgan.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here.

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