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3Q18 results: US bank chiefs focus on structure and costs

A strong third quarter from Morgan Stanley was the highlight of a mixed bag of numbers, while Goldman Sachs’ incoming CFO offered more glimpses of the future.

The big US banks wrapped up their third-quarter results season this week, with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs looking more vibrant in places than their giant commercial cousins.

Revenues were flat or slightly up across the board, with profits climbing more strongly, but investment banking had a happier time at the traditional broker dealers than at the universal banks.

Q318 heatmap2

That broad trend for the quarter didn’t stop JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake from being able to rattle off a traditional series of year-to-date number-one rankings, including in investment banking fees in North America, in EMEA and globally.

Group revenues in the quarter rose by 7% year-on-year, an increase matched only by Morgan Stanley, and pre-tax profits were up 12%.

          Also in this story: CEOs outline prep for new capital buffer, credit loss rules

As usual on JPMorgan’s call, analysts were looking for macro commentary as much as they were interested in what was going on at the bank.

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