JPMorgan gets nod to resume stock buys after Whale loss

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November 9, 2012 12:35 AM EST

JPMorgan Chase & Co said U.S. regulators have approved a plan for the bank to use its capital to buy back as much as $3 billion of its stock in the first quarter of 2013.

JPMorgan had suspended buybacks in May and submitted a new capital plan to the Federal Reserve in August after containing its "London Whale" derivatives losses at about $6.2 billion.

The Federal Reserve told the bank on November 5 that it had approved the plan, JPMorgan said in a quarterly filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

The losing derivatives positions were disclosed by JPMorgan on May 10, more than a month after reports surfaced in the credit markets that Bruno Iksil, a London-based trader for JPMorgan known as the London Whale, had made massive bets in credit markets.

The approved plan provides for JPMorgan to continue paying its current quarterly dividend on common stock, the filing said.

CEO Jamie Dimon told investors on May 21 the bank had suspended repurchases of its stock to rebuild its capital and meet higher requirements for financial safety.

Under restrictions imposed after the financial crisis, JPMorgan and other big banks cannot buy back stock or increase their dividends without approval from the Federal Reserve.

Dimon had said in early April that he could boost shareholder value by buying back stock for as much as $45 a share.

JPMorgan spent $9 billion in 2011 to buy back its shares.

In premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange, JPMorgan shares were up 1.4 percent at $41.04.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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