JPMorgan Lowers Buyback Request to Less Than $12 Billion

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank, reduced its 2013 stock-repurchase request with federal bank regulators by at least 20 percent after suffering its biggest trading loss ever last year.

JPMorgan asked the Federal Reserve if it could buy back less than $3 billion per quarter when it submitted its annual capital request in January, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 56, told analysts on a conference call today.

The Fed forced the New York-based company to suspend a $15 billion stock-buyback program last year after the bank in May acknowledged losses in a credit-derivatives portfolio that eventually swelled to more than $6.2 billion. JPMorgan’s board of directors cut Dimon’s pay for 2012 in half after a review of the losses in the chief investment office held him responsible for the botched trades.

JPMorgan had repurchased $1.6 billion of the $15 billion in authorized share buybacks when the Fed suspended the program. The central bank later approved the repurchase of $3 billion in additional shares in the first quarter, leaving $10.4 billion of the original buyback goal unused.

Dimon said he is inclined to buy back shares when the price of the stock falls below tangible book value.

The bank is projected to raise its quarterly dividend 16 percent in March to 35 cents a share, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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