JPMorgan Chase's chief executive said he is in no hurry to raise the bank's dividend due to an economy that he warned could still be threatened by a "double dip" scenario.
"We don't mind holding extra capital right now because we don't know what's going to happen," Jamie Dimon said on Thursday during an investor day presentation. "There are huge potential negatives out there."
He added that he wanted to see consistent rise in employment numbers over a period of months before increasing the bank's dividend. Some analysts have speculated that a boost in the bank's 20-cent annual payout could be close, given its return to multibillion dollar profits last year.
Dimon has said the bank would like to increase its annual dividend to around 75 cents to $1 but the bank's board would like to be convinced the worst of the crisis is over before it makes this move.
Dimon said on Thursday that the bank sees an opportunity to expand its Chase retail banking network and is gearing up to open about 300 branches a year.
Dimon, who has emerged as one of the industry's most prominent voices after his bank, the nation's second largest, weathered the credit crisis better than most, also said he was opposed to the Obama administration's proposed consumer protection agency.
"We're getting into the capricious and arbitrary punitive behavior" on the regulatory side, he said, although he insisted he wanted better consumer regulation and supported a systemic regulator.
But he expressed optimism on the regulations' ultimate form saying that he expected them to end up in a more "rational" place in the end.
Earlier in the day, JPMorgan's head of investment banking said the company can continue to meet profitability targets through growth areas such as emerging markets and commodities trading, even as fixed income trading margins narrow.
JPMorgan's planned acquisition of commodities joint venture RBS Sempra should boost the bank's trading efforts, Jes Staley said.
JPMorgan has not historically been sufficiently committed to staying in emerging markets, but now it is, Staley added.
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