Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. recorded the highest quarterly profit in its history Friday, as the company benefited greatly from the new tax law passed late last year.
JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank by assets and deposits, had a profit of $8.71 billion in the first quarter, a jump of 35 percent from a profit of $6.45 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, JPMorgan earned $2.37 a share, up from $1.65 per share, beating analysts' forecasts.
JPMorgan's results were driven by two factors: higher interest rates, which have allowed banks like JPMorgan to charge more for customers to borrow, and a much lower corporate tax rate.
In December the US Senate approved the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades - considered the high water mark of the Trump administration's legislative program to date. It included slashing corporate taxes from 35% to 21%.
While JPMorgan's pretax income rose by $2 billion in the quarter, the company said it paid $240 million less in taxes compared to a year earlier.
"The global economy continues to do well, and we remain optimistic about the positive impact of tax reform in the U.S. as business sentiment remains upbeat, and consumers benefit from job and wage growth," said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in a statement.
The Federal Reserve has been steadily raising interest rates for more than two years now, and banks have started benefiting from this change. Net interest income at JPMorgan was $13.3 billion, up 10 percent from a year earlier.
JPMorgan's investment bank also had a solid quarter, helped by much more volatile and active markets last quarter. Net income in the investment bank was $3.97 billion, up from $3.24 billion a year earlier.
JPMorgan's quarterly revenue was $28.52 billion, up from $25.85 billion.
Roughly 36 percent of Americans approve of the Republican tax cuts, according to a March Quinnipiac University Poll and a CNBC poll found that 52 percent of working adults said they had not seen a change to their paychecks since the cuts were passed.
In January, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said 90 percent of all working adults would see increases in their paychecks because of the cuts.
However, a recent survey raised doubts that tax cuts would reach lower paid workers.
A new analysis of all Fortune 500 companies revealed that less than 1-in-20 workers will receive a bonus or wage increase tied to the business tax cuts, while businesses received nine times more in cuts than what they passed on to their workers, according to Americans for Tax Fairness, a political advocacy group devoted to tax reform. The analysis also found that companies spent 37 times as much on stock buybacks than they did on bonuses and increased wages for workers.