5 American banks will announce $21 billion in profits this week

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tells Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, "You should be fired," during his testimony before Congress at hearings involving America's third-largest bank last week. (CNN Photo)

NEW YORK (CNN) — Five of the country’s biggest banks are expected to rain down a combined $21 billion in profits this week.

The vast quarterly earnings from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and PNC are likely to account for nearly half of the entire banking industry’s profits.

It’s no wonder Wall Street is feasting on bank stocks. Investors are betting bank profitability will only be enhanced by proposed corporate tax cuts and deregulation. These positives have overshadowed hiccups from turbulent trading revenue and soft loan growth.

Not surprisingly, JPMorgan (JPM) remains at the front of the class. Not only is JPMorgan the most valuable U.S. bank and the one with the most assets ($2.1 trillion), but it’s the most profitable. Jamie Dimon’s company, kicking off the parade of bank earnings on Thursday morning, is expected to post $6.4 billion in profits.

Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup continue to hit milestones in their taxpayer-assisted recovery from the financial crisis. For the first time since 2007, Citi is worth over $200 billion. That’s thanks to a 52% surge in Citi’s (C) stock price since President Trump’s election.

BofA celebrated a landmark of its own last week. Its stock price topped $26 for the first time since September 2008, the month Lehman Brothers collapsed. Of course, it’s still shy of the all-time high of $55 set in November 2006, before subprime became a bad word.

Even Wells Fargo (WFC) continues to rake in fat profits — it’s expected to post $5 billion in earnings on Friday. But CEO Tim Sloan should face tough questions about Wells Fargo’s recent auto insurance and mortgage fee controversies. The bank’s chronic scandals have left it out of the bank party on Wall Street.

And don’t forget about PNC (PNC). The No. 6 U.S. bank by assets is the one poised to reveal the strongest earnings growth from last quarter.

Of course, it’s not just the largest banks making big money. The overall U.S. banking industry earned a record $48.3 billion during the second quarter, according to the FDIC. That’s well above the pre-crisis high of $38 billion in 2006.

These mega profits support Trump’s argument that the economy is doing really well. But they also undercut his rationale for doing “a big number” on bank regulations.

Related: The Dow could be so hot that it melts


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