Oct 12 - JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo posted record profits in the third quarter as mortgage lending picks up, but there are bigger concerns around the corner. Jill Bennett reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL A recovering housing market coupled with falling interest rates helped buoy mortgage lending in recent months. The mortgage bonanza helped JPMorgan and Wells Fargo post record profits over the last three months. Paul Miller, managing director at FBR Capital Markets: SOUNDBITE: PAUL MILLER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FBR CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "These are two of the biggest mortgage banks in the country and mortgage banking right now is probably the most profitable it's been, ever, even before the sub-prime days." REPORTER STAND-UP: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon went so far as to say he believes the housing market has turned a corner. Yet, it has been refinancings, not loans on new homes, that have led the charge for mortgage lending." That growth helped propel bank stocks this year....with the bank index more than doubling the broader market index. Though, Wells Fargo's revenues fell short of expectations. And, there are still worries shadowing the entire banking sector. Erik Oja, Banking Equity Analyst at S&P Capital IQ. SOUNDBITE: ERIK OJA, BANKING EQUITY ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Loan growth and net interest margin would be a primary concern because the way that they are falling now, they are dropping like a rock and there's only so long that good growth and fee income is going to be able to offset the very core net interest income trends that we are seeing." And, it may take a stronger economy for banks to hit the right notes as they ring in 2013, according to Miller. SOUNDBITE: PAUL MILLER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FBR CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It will drive businesses to borrow money give confidence to consumers and businesses to borrow money to expand and increase the yield curve and increase rates that might be bad for the mortgage bank but everybody would give up those earnings in the mortgage bank for growing portfolios and expanding NIMs." Citigroup is expected to roll out pretty solid earnings on Monday with foreign and commercial loan growth. There are worries over Bank of America, also reporting next week, as the costs of mortgage repurchases increase. Jill Bennett, Reuters