JPMorgan CEO Hits Back at Regulators in Davos

Jamie Washington

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has hit back at global regulators, telling CNBC in Davos that banks are not too opaque, but that they are complex.

"Businesses can be opaque. They are complex. You don't know how aircraft engines work either," he said at a panel of regulators and heads of financial firms, hosted by CNBC at the World Economic Forum.

He refuted claims that it is impossible to know whether global financial institutions are actually risky or sound.

The most exotic derivatives had disappeared, he said, and that not all banks had required a bailout.

"Some banks were port in the storm because they were strong and diversified. I'm not just talking about JPMorgan, there were lots of them out there who were ports in the storm and helped countries survive," Dimon said.

He lamented the lack of effectiveness in developing new rules and regulations for the financial services industry.

"It's five years after the crisis OK, we still have not fixed a lot of the things you are talking about. Part of the reason we are trying to do too much too fast," he said.

"I wish the world would sit down get their people together... we have so many things coming, it's not going to fix, it's just five more years pointing fingers. Scapegoating, using misinformation and think we're making a better system," he said.

"Five years and we don't have mortgage rules yet, it's a very complex thing that we should make a lot simpler," he added. "You want financial services you just don't want to be leveraged and blow up."

Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive of Prudential told delegates at the Forum that there had indeed been excesses in the financial crisis that needed to be fixed, but warned against shrinking the size of the financial industry significantly.

"There will not be any growth, the world economy will not get out of the crisis in which it is without a functioning financial sector," he said. "We all perform a very valuable social function...nobody can say what is the optimal size of the financial sector, I don't think it is not a very productive debate," he said.

Dimon said JPMorgan took risks, but that it managed those risks carefully.

The bank lost $6 billion on the so-called whale trades last year but still managed to earn record profits . Dimon apologized to any shareholders at the Forum for the losses. He defended the bank's track record and said that the bank had moved on.

"I think JP Morgan was not just a fair-weather friend,we were there in good times and in bad times, for everybody, including nations," Dimon said.

"For Spain and Italy we look today at lending $15 billion dollars net of collateral,derivatives. What would you do? What would you all do? If you were my board of directors it's very easy to say don't take the risk, move out. We're not a fair-weather friend. We have to manage that risk, something may go wrong," he said.

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