Bond Portfolios Give US Banks Heavy Losses: From JPMorgan’s $7.4 Billion to BofA’s $3.4 Billion

US banks trading income declines

Fitch explains that for large US banks “the sharp rise in interest rates across the curve led to unrealised losses in AFS (Available-for-Sale) securities portfolios with an estimated negative effect on CET1 ratios of 20-110bp”.

Specifically, according to Bloomberg, JPMorgan reported latent losses of about USD 7.4 billion on a total of USD 313 billion of Treasuries and other bonds in its available-for-sale portfolio in the Q1’22 results announced last week. These “were responsible for much of the drop in JPMorgan’s regulatory capital ratio in Q1, from 13.1% to 11.9% at the end of March”, which also led to a slowdown in its share buyback programme.

However, according to the same Bloomberg report, “BofA recorded roughly half the losses that JPMorgan suffered on a similar-sized portfolio because BofA has been regularly hedging the risk of rate hikes since 2020.”

Bloomberg also notes that Wells Fargo reported about USD 5 billion in latent losses associated with its bond holdings, Citigroup about USD 4.3 billion and Bank of America about USD 3.4 billion.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.