US banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase on Friday announced it made $5.4 billion in the first quarter of this year on growing revenue in its retail business, despite signs of a still-weak mortgage market.
Deposits were up, the number of checking accounts held by customers was up and the number of branches was also up as the bank's retail business improved.
"We are pleased that our results for the quarter reflected positive credit trends for our consumer real estate and credit card portfolios," said Jamie Dimon, the firm's CEO.
But in a sign that the US housing crisis is far from over, he added: "We expect to see elevated levels of costs and losses associated with mortgage-related issues for a while longer."
Against this back drop first quarter profit was slightly down from the first quarter of 2011, when the bank made $5.6 billion.
But the firm felt confident enough to bulk up the bank's reserve capital, upping its shareholder dividend and kicking off a $15 billion equity buyback.
Last year JPMorgan Chase, which employs 260,000 people, made a record annual profit of $19 billion.