JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) announced Monday it will suspend its share-buyback program in an apparent reaction to probes into its recently announced losses of as much as $2 billion in derivatives contracts in London.
Shares of the New York-based bank fell as much as 3.7 percent to $32.26 but recovered in late trading to $32.52 after CEO Jamie Dimon made the announcement at a conference sponsored by rival Deutsche Bank in New York.
Dimon said JPMorgan's buyback suspension was intended to preserve capital as a commitment to regulators. The $15 billion share buyback campaign had been announced after the biggest U.S. bank said it had passed mandatory tests imposed by the U.S. Treasury.
Government regulators, including the FBI, are probing the bank's risk and accounting practices following the May 10 disclosure about the trading losses -- that the bank would suffer massive, billion-dollar losses on an ill-devised trading strategy.
Dimon previously boasted of the bank's'fortress balance sheet as the reason why it could buy back shares without running afoul of capital requirements.
The embattled CEO said JPMorgan still planned to maintain its 30 cent a share quarterly dividend payouts, despite the current investigation.
At the annual meeting [on May 16] I made a mistake. I said, 'I hope we will be able to continue the dividend.' We intend to continue it, Dimon said Monday.
JPMorgan's market capitalization is $123.8 billion.