Bank profits dimmed by prospect of home-equity losses
Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo may have to set aside an additional $30bn to cover possible losses on home-equity loans, an amount almost equal to analysts’ estimates of profit at the three banks this year. The cost of these reserves was calculated by CreditSights Inc., a New York-based research firm whose prediction almost four years ago proved prescient after banks reported unprecedented mortgage-related writedowns. Recognizing the home- equity loan losses is unfinished business from the housing bubble, CreditSights said in a March 29 report. Potential writedowns on the loans are casting a shadow over earnings, as analysts try to determine how much, and how quickly, loan-loss expenses will decline from the industrywide peak reached in June 2009. Banks led by New York-based JPMorgan begin reporting first-quarter results this week.