Bloomberg News

JPMorgan’s $28 Billion Leads Bank Trading Losses in Tests

March 13, 2012

A JPMorgan Chase & Co. bank branch stands in New York, U.S. Photographer: Guy Calaf/Bloomberg

A JPMorgan Chase & Co. bank branch stands in New York, U.S. Photographer: Guy Calaf/Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which produced the most trading revenue among Wall Street firms last year, had the highest trading and counterparty losses of the biggest U.S. banks under the Federal Reserve’s stress scenario.

JPMorgan had an estimated $27.7 billion in projected losses from mark-to-market changes, credit valuation adjustments and counterparty default losses, according to the Fed results released yesterday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) had an estimated $27.1 billion of such losses in the testing.

The Fed is requiring the nation’s largest lenders to show they have credible plans for maintaining capital and continuing lending in an economic downturn. The six largest U.S. banks had a projected $116 billion in trading and counterparty losses, larger than the 19 banks subjected to Fed’s stress tests had in any lending area.

“The relative size of losses across firms depends not on nominal portfolio size, but rather on the specific risk characteristics of each BHC’s trading positions, inclusive of hedges,” the Fed said in the report. BHC stands for bank holding company.

The Fed’s global financial market shock tested losses from declines in positions held, counterparty defaults and charges related to the deterioration of creditworthiness of trading partners through the end of 2013.

Bank of America Corp. had a projected $21.1 billion of trading and counterparty losses, Citigroup Inc. (C) had $20.9 billion, Morgan Stanley (MS) had $12.8 billion and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) had $6.9 billion.

Fed’s Assumptions

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo all maintained Tier 1 common ratios above the 5 percent required minimum under the Fed’s stress scenario. Citigroup fell below the 5 percent threshold and said it will resubmit its capital plan to regulators.

The losses were projected based on trading positions held by the firms on a single day, generally Nov. 17, 2011, the Fed said. Losses could have differed “perhaps significantly” from choosing a different date.

The shock assumed increases in credit spreads on European nations and financial institutions, with prices below any observed levels, the Fed said. Losses tied to the widening of those spreads largely related to counterparty risk, while direct mark-to-market charges were “relatively small,” according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net


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