U.S. bank results to focus on looming loan losses during coronavirus

How much money will U.S. banks lose on loans because of the coronavirus recession? Analysts and investors have been struggling to come up with an answer – or at least a reasonable guess – ahead of quarterly reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), and Citigroup Inc (C.N) next week. Wall Street estimates have changed dramatically from a month ago. Then, analysts called for big bank earnings per share to rise in the first quarter from a year earlier by an average of 2%. Now they see declines ranging from 14% to 42%, according to Refinitiv data. That is not just because the impact of the global pandemic is changing and hard to quantify, but also because of a new accounting standard that requires banks to estimate losses for the lifetime of loans and set aside money now to cover them.

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