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JPMorgan’s profit surges 34% on mortgage growth

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s profits surged 34% in the third quarter as the country’s largest bank by assets saw its mortgage business boom and market share grow.

JPMorgan, which also reported strong growth in its units such as credit card and commercial banking, said it earned a record $5.7 billion, or $1.40 a share, in the third quarter, up from $4.3 billion, or $1.02, the same period a year ago.

“Importantly, we believe the housing market has turned the corner,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. The bank reduced its reserves for loan losses by $900 million as credit conditions improved.

JPMorgan has come under scrutiny since it disclosed a multibillion-dollar trading loss due to risky derivative bets made in the bank’s London office.

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The Chief Investment Office losses, which JPMorgan had pegged at $5.8 billion as of the second quarter, continued to grow, but only modestly -- by $449 million, the bank said.

JPMorgan had said the losses could, under the worst-case scenario, widen by $1.7 billion.

In a conference call with reporters, Dimon said the bank didn’t expect further losses of that magnitude, and said JPMorgan had significantly reduced risk in the portfolio. 

“Hopefully we’re not going to be talking about it anymore,” Dimon said.

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