JP Morgan Sees Profits Drop as Legal Costs Take Toll

The bank has paid out roughly $20 billion in the past year to settle its regulatory and legal woes.

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J.P. Morgan Chase saw profits tumble in the fourth quarter as unprecedented regulatory scrutiny pushed up legal expenses.

The banking giant reported Tuesday a 7.3 percent fall in profits to $5.28 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $5.69 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 1.1 percent to $24.11 billion.

J.P. Morgan has paid out roughly $20 billion in the past year to resolve federal investigations into cases ranging from alleged mortgage practice violations to the 2012 “London Whale” fiasco, the Wall Street Journal reports. Last week the company agreed to pay $1.7 billion to victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and an additional $900 million in penalties and legal fees—reducing fourth quarter earnings by $850 million—after admitting it did not have an effective anti-money-laundering policy in place.