JPMorgan Chase (JPM 0.28%) saw first-quarter earnings per share drop 71% compared to the same period the year before, the company reported Tuesday morning.

Net revenue fell only 3% to $29.1 billion, but the firm was hurt by a surge in credit losses. Provision for credit losses jumped to $8.3 billion, up $6.8 billion from the first quarter of 2019. The increase in credit losses is due to the "deterioration in the macro-economic environment" from the coronavirus pandemic as well as pressure on oil prices.

An earnings sheet with pl;astic dice or blocks on it spelling out the words profit, loss, and risk.

Image Source: Getty Images

"The first quarter delivered some unprecedented challenges and required us to focus on what we as a bank could do -- outside of our ordinary course of business -- to remain strong, resilient and well-positioned to support all of our stakeholders," JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said.

He said approximately three-quarters of the company's 5,000 consumer and community bank locations are open. The company opened about 500,000 new accounts for card customers and extended roughly $6 billion of new and increased credit lines, Dimon added.

Also, JPMorgan lent over $500 million to small businesses in March and is "actively supporting" the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, Dimon said.

Dimon said the bank is "well capitalized and highly liquid," with a common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 11.5% -- well above the minimum standard for capital reserves -- and liquidity of over $1 trillion.

"In the first quarter, the underlying results of the company were extremely good; however, given the likelihood of a fairly severe recession, it was necessary to build credit reserves of $6.8 billion, resulting in total credit costs of $8.3 billion for the quarter," Dimon said.