Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported first-quarter financial results this week, showing increases in profits even though production volume was down. Wells Fargo reported earnings of $4.7 billion, a decrease of 37% from the same period a year ago. The bank’s mortgage origination volume was down 43%, while its home equity origination volume was down 6%. JPMorgan Chase reported earnings of $9.2 billion, an increase of 43% year-over-year, and its mortgage and home equity originations were down 24% and 15%, respectively.

The pandemic has significantly impacted the mortgage sector, as government-mandated restrictions, widespread layoffs, and discouragement of non-essential activity caused many lenders to reduce staffing and operations. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase were no different, both reducing their mortgage origination staff to comply with social distancing measures and the overall economic pause. Despite production volume being reduced year-over-year, both institutions saw an increase in ROE, with Wells Fargo at 11.0% and JPMorgan Chase at 31.4%, year-over-year.

The increased profitability for both institutions can be attributed largely to government stimulus. During the first quarter, the government disbursed $190 billion in stimulus money, of which Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase were the largest recipients. The money transferred to both banks had a direct and positive effect on their overall financial results, as seen in their considerably higher profits compared to the same period last year.

In summary, the first quarter of 2021 saw Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase’s profits rise, even though their mortgage and home equity origination volume was significantly down compared to last year. This increase in profitability was due to the government-funded stimulus money, which both banks were major recipients of. Despite the decreased production volume, both banks were able to report strong ROEs; Wells Fargo at 11.0% and JPMorgan Chase at 31.4%.

You can read this full article at: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/profits-up-production-volume-down-for-wells-fargo-jp-morgan-in-q1-23/(subscription required)

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