JPMorgan hikes dividends after Jamie Dimon knocks Jerome Powell’s plan for higher capital requirements

JPMorgan Chase & Co. unexpectedly lifted its dividend 9.5% in the wake of a record annual profit and as regulators signal they may rethink proposals for tightening capital rules.

The increase to $1.15 a share, announced in a statement Tuesday, marked the second time in the past 12 months that the biggest US bank boosted its quarterly payout. The firm has sent about $60 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks over the past three years.

JPMorgan has been an outspoken critic of a US regulatory effort to ratchet up capital requirements, estimating that proposed rules could force it to hold about $50 billion more — roughly equal to its annual profit for 2023. Industry groups have waged a fierce lobbying campaign against the plan, warning it will make them less competitive and drive up lending costs. 

Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers that regulators are likely to significantly change that plan. While decisions had yet to be made, he said it was “very plausible” they could scrap an existing proposal and put forth a new one.

JPMorgan, led by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, didn’t provide a reason for the dividend increase in its statement. The firm had raised the payout by 5% to $1.05 a share for the third quarter.

The stock climbed 14% this year to $193.79 by the close of US markets on Tuesday. The price was little changed in extended trading after the bank’s announcement as of 6 p.m. in New York.

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