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JPMorgan Chase’s quarterly profit fell 7.3 percent on $2.6 billion of settlements tied to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme as rising legal costs ended the firm’s three-year streak of record annual earnings.
Fourth-quarter net income declined to $5.28 billion, or $1.30 a share, from $5.69 billion, or $1.39, a year earlier, according to a statement from the biggest US bank. Results excluding the Madoff settlement and other one-time items were $1.40 a share.
Chief executive Jamie Dimon is whittling down the firm’s list of legal woes that include allegations it misled buyers of mortgage bonds, rigged markets, and turned a blind eye to suspicious activity by customers. The Madoff agreement, which the bank said last week reduced fourth-quarter profit by about $850 million, capped a year in which JPMorgan spent more than $23 billion on legal settlements.