JP Morgan boss Dimon hits out at accusations of opaqueness

 
City A.M. Reporter
JP MORGAN chief executive Jamie Dimon made a staunch defence of the banking industry yesterday after accusations that big banks are not transparent enough.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon warned of further regulation of the industry. “I think a lot of regulators are overwhelmed,” he said. “They’re overwhelmed with rules and regulations.”

Responding to accusations from Paul Singer of hedge fund Elliot Associates that large banks are “too big, too leveraged, too opaque,” Dimon said: “Our [company filing] is 400 pages long. What would you like to know? With all due respect hedge funds are pretty opaque too.”

Dimon also apologised to shareholders for the $6bn (£3.8bn) loss associated with a London trader nicknamed the “Whale”. He said the incident was a “terrible mistake,” but that the bank has moved on and is still highly profitable.

“If you’re a shareholder of mine, I apologise deeply,” Dimon said.

“But we had record results and life goes on.”

Despite a $6.2bn loss from bad trades in JP Morgan’s chief investment office last year, the bank still managed to earn a record $21.3bn in 2012.

JPMorgan Chase is the largest US bank, with $2.36 trillion in assets. Its chief investment office has since been restructured and traders and executives involved with the “whale” trade were dismissed.

After an internal review, Dimon’s bonus was cut in half to $11m for 2012.