NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation’s biggest banks reported blowout profits for 2021 on Friday, helped by the improving economy and consumers and businesses willing to spend and take on loans. But Inflation is clouding the outlook for 2022, based on comments from bank executives to reporters and industry analysts. They foresee higher inflation this year and are faced with higher costs for compensation as the banks compete for talent and employees. Wall Street could hear similar comments in the next few weeks as the rest of Corporate America releases results and shares its outlook for the upcoming year. “We spent a good deal of 2021 talking about inflation and I suspect we are going to spend even more time in 2022 talking about it,” said Mark Mason, the chief financial officer at Citigroup, in a Friday call with journalists. While JPMorgan reported a 14% decline in fourth quarter earnings, the bank still brought in nearly $50 billion in profits for the full year 2021, up significantly from a profit of $36.4 billion in 2019, before the pandemic hit. Citi brought in $21.95 billion last year. That exceeds what Citigroup made in 2006, when the bank earned $21.2 billion at the height of the mortgage bubble and when Citigroup was a financial conglomerate significantly larger than what it is today. Hub peek embed (apf-business) - Compressed layout (automatic embed)Wells Fargo’s full-year profits were $21.55 billion, slightly below previous records but multiples better than where they were a year earlier. Wells’ operations continue to be restrained by the Federal Reserve, which capped the bank from getting larger after its sales practices problems and other scandals. Both JPMorgan and Citi reported higher expenses last quarter, much more than what analysts’ had expected. Both banks said it was partially due to the need to recruit new employees and pay them the higher wages they were now asking for. “Labor markets are tight, that there’s a little bit of labor inflation,...
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