JPMorgan Chase is working to 'take out $2bn' in costs

money cuts

Structure expenses, and eliminating waste.

JPMorgan Chase is still minding its pocketbook.

The bank's CEO of consumer and community banking, Gordon Smith, said in a CNBC report Wednesday that the bank is working on cutting costs from its structure.

"We started about two years ago, we set ourselves the target to take out $2 billion" in costs, Smith said, which includes structure expenses, and eliminating waste.

What it does not entail, is cutting spending on technology and mobile applications — one area in which JPMorgan Chase has boosted staffing over the last few quarters .

The bank recently announced that it will lift pay for some of its lowest-ranking workers , something which may challenge its cost-cutting initiative. But every Wall Street bank is confronting the reality of needing to cut costs , at a time when some can't find many more jobs to cut.

Keeping pace with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's comments to CNBC earlier in the week , Smith said that he believes the U.S. consumer economy is improving, fueled by factors including rising home values and improving job growth.

"I'm just much more optimistic about the economy than some of the rhetoric you hear," Smith said. "If we go back to the first half of last year, we see a very steady, gradual improvement with the consumer."

Still, also like Dimon , Smith said he acknowledges a need for an interest rate hike. But, unlike so many Wall Street prognosticators, Smith appears to have thrown in the towel when it comes to marking his calendar.

"We can't impact rates," Smith said. "And almost everyone who tries to predict where rates are going has been wrong over the last number of years."

— CNBC's Wilfred Frost contributed to this report.

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