JPMorgan - 'Fortress Balance Sheet'

JP Morgan Chase aced the US bank stress test. Jamie Dimon's 'fortress balance sheet' is a reality, it seems.

Here's what the firm had to say about the achievement:

To staff

'We have all worked hard to build a fortress balance sheet and strong capital position at JPMorgan Chase, and such strength is more critical than ever in a challenging environment like the one we're facing today. This afternoon, the government released the results of its industry-wide stress test, concluding that our firm remains very strong - even under highly adverse conditions - and that we do not need to raise any additional capital.

You should all take pride in the strength of JPMorgan Chase and your role in the success of our company'.

Mike Cavanagh, CFO

Press release

'JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) confirmed Thursday that it has completed the U.S. Government's Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP), which determined that JPMorgan Chase's capital position would remain strong under far more highly stressed conditions than exist today, and that there is no need for the company to raise additional capital at this time.

JPMorgan Chase's existing strong capital base and loan-loss reserves, together with its significant pretax, pre-provision earnings power, would enable it to weather adverse scenarios envisioned by SCAP, while still maintaining very strong capital ratios. JPMC's ratios under SCAP would remain very strong even when excluding TARP preferred stock. Importantly, the company believes it could handle a substantially worse environment than the Government's adverse conditions, even though the company is not expecting such a scenario.

Specifically, JPMorgan Chase's Tier 1 Capital Ratio is 11.4% - or 9.3% excluding TARP - as of March 31, 2009. The company's Tier 1 Common Ratio is 7.3% as of March 31, 2009, which is well in excess of the Government's 4.0% buffer level, and would remain so even under more highly adverse scenarios.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, 'JPMorgan Chase has worked hard to maintain its fortress balance sheet and strong capital position in this challenging environment'. He added, 'We are committed to supporting healthy economic growth and to doing our part to help our country through these tough times. In particular, we remain committed to safe and sound lending and to being a responsible corporate citizen. In the first quarter of this year alone, JPMorgan Chase lent more than $150 billion to consumers, small businesses, non-profits, municipalities, corporations and others'.

Source - The New York Times, JPMorgan Chase

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