Too many regulators will only increase costs and reduce credit opportunities for consumers, JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon warned in a column he wrote in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.

While praising President Barack Obama's efforts to reform the U.S. financial system, Dimon said the emphasis should be on strengthening existing regulators over creating new ones.

Any regulatory overhaul should ensure that governmental oversight of the financial system is efficient, wrote Dimon, who is widely regarded as the top banker to have been least tarnished by the financial crisis. We should avoid the temptation to have multiple regulators just for the sake of having them.

Three or four different regulators all looking at (and fighting over) the same issue is not a wise use of taxpayer money, he said. Companies can't operate that way. Neither should the government.

Obama last week unveiled a sweeping package of reforms to rewrite the rules for banks and capital markets in response to a severe financial crisis that has dragged down economies worldwide for more than a year.

Dimon said he supports the creation of a single bank regulator, a move he said was long overdue.

Another major Obama goal is to do more to protect consumers by transferring consumer protection dealing with mortgages, credit cards, payday loans and other financial products out of 10 agencies and into a new agency.

Dimon agreed with the need to boost consumer protection but warned regulators must be careful.

Before creating an entirely new federal bureaucracy, policy makers should first examine ways to strengthen and refocus the authority of existing regulators, he wrote. Creating duplicative and overlapping functions could increase costs and reduce credit opportunities for the consumers we are trying to protect.

A key catalyst for the financial crisis has been the enormous amount of debt shouldered by Americans during a real estate bubble fueled by subprime mortgages that many borrowers could not afford or understand.

As defaults and foreclosures rose last year, exotic financial instruments backed by shaky mortgages broke down and the capital markets froze for a time amid uncertainty about the condition of banks' balance sheets.

The combined effects helped drag the United States into recession.

Dimon said financial institutions need to clean up their act and earn back the public's trust.

Company leadership must foster a culture within their institutions that focuses on integrity, strong execution, quality products, long-term value creation and doing the right thing, he wrote.

Golden parachutes, special contracts, and unreasonable perks must disappear.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bill Trott)