JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup close out strong years with weaker quarters.

JPMorgan Chase closed a record year delivering a record profit of $48.3 billion in 2021, while reporting lower quarterly results despite the performance of investment bankers raising money for companies and closing business deals.

The bank, the largest in the country by assets, reported flat revenue compared to the last quarter of 2020, although profits fell 14 percent in the three months ended December to $10.4 billion. Still, earnings of $3.33 per share exceeded analyst expectations.

Much of the decline was due to the bank raising wages and spending more on technology, the company said in its earnings statement.

“The economy continues to do reasonably well despite headwinds related to the Omicron variant, inflation and supply chain bottlenecks,” said Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, in a statement. “We remain optimistic about economic growth in the US as business confidence is optimistic and consumers benefit from job and wage growth.”

The company’s investment bankers ended a blockbuster year with a 37 percent increase in fees, while revenue for the banking unit grew 28 percent to $5.3 billion. The wealth and asset management division also benefited from higher management fees and growth in deposits and loans.

But there were also laggards: Profits for the bank’s consumer division, which focuses on Main Street customers, fell 2 percent to $4.2 billion. Trading revenue fell 11 percent from a record fourth quarter a year ago to $5.3 billion, but was still higher than the same period in 2019.

Like JPMorgan, Citigroup reported lower fourth-quarter earnings. Still, annual profits nearly doubled to $21.9 billion.

Net profit fell 26 percent in the quarter to $3.2 billion, but still beat analysts’ forecasts. In an effort to streamline its operations, the company is selling some overseas units. On Thursday, it announced a $3.6 billion sale of consumer businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to UOB Group. It is also exiting the Mexican retail market.

Wells Fargo bucked the trend, with fourth-quarter net income up 86 percent to $5.8 billion, beating analyst expectations. And full-year profits rose to $21.5 billion in 2021 — more than six times what they were in 2020, when the company was raising funds for rainy days in the event of a wave of defaults that didn’t materialize.

“Everyone seems to be growing confident that the recovery will continue,” Michael P. Santomassimo, the company’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call. Given consumer spending and business activity, “we are optimistic,” he said.

Bank stocks are up 12 percent in the past month as investors forecast that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates this year to bring inflation under control. Rising rates would pave the way for banks to increase profits as they can charge customers more interest.

Executives at the country’s largest lenders have been optimistic about the economy in recent months, especially during periods as the pandemic subsided. They remained optimistic Friday, but recognized the potential for disruptions from rising inflation and the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has caused staff shortages in schools and businesses.

Inflation rose to its highest level in four decades late last year. Rising prices have eroded consumer confidence and made businesses more uncertain about the future of the pandemic-ravaged economy.

Three other major US lenders – Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – will report their earnings next week.

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