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JPMorgan Chase to Launch $30 Billion Share Repurchase Program in 2021

By Bram Berkowitz - Dec 18, 2020 at 6:48PM

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Within hours of the Federal Reserve lifting the ban on stock buybacks, JPMorgan announced that it intends to launch a $30 billion share repurchase program.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM -1.81% ) announced that it has approved a $30 billion share repurchase program for 2021.

The news came within hours of the Federal Reserve releasing its second round of bank stress-testing results and declaring that it would allow large U.S. banks to conduct stock buybacks limited by their income in 2020.

It's no secret that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been dying to resume share repurchases after the bank turned in strong second- and third-quarter earnings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the Fed banned stock repurchases and capped dividends in the third and fourth quarters of this year. With the green light, JPMorgan didn't waste any time.

A Chase bank branch.

Image source: JPMorgan Chase

"Our highest and best use of capital continues to be supporting our clients and driving an inclusive economic recovery," Dimon said in a statement.

He added, "We will continue to maintain a fortress balance sheet that allows us to safely deploy capital by investing in and growing our businesses, supporting consumers and businesses, paying a sustainable dividend, and returning any remaining excess capital to shareholders."

In the same announcement regarding the repurchase plan, JPMorgan announced that it would maintain its regular quarterly dividend of $0.90 per common share.

If JPMorgan does go ahead and buy back all $30 billion worth of shares in 2021, it will equate to more aggregate share repurchases by the bank than in 2019, when JPMorgan collectively repurchased more than $24 billion of stock.

In the Fed's stress-testing exercise, JPMorgan would be able to maintain strong capital ratios even in some pretty harsh scenarios where unemployment gets as high as 11% or 12.5%.

 
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