After digging through President Donald Trump’s tax blueprint, a number of bank analysts are finding potentially enormous benefits for some of America’s largest banks.
The new GOP tax plan would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from the current 35% level, according to analysts at Cowen Washington Research Group. U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) are in prime position to gain on the new corporate rate, suggests the research group, as the firms are also set to be spared from potentially damaging provisions such as the elimination of the deduction for mortgage interest. (See also: Tax Reform Should Bode Well for Charles Schwab.)
Tax Cut Should Boost Big Banks
Cowen’s Jaret Seiberg, a financial services and policy analyst, indicates that “the rates are deeper than had been anticipated … That’s likely to lead to more economic activity, which at the end of the day is really what’s best for banks. They thrive when the economy’s booming.”
This sentiment was echoed by Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network. “From a Wall Street perspective, this is pretty much everything they could ask for … all of the major wish list items are there,” McMillan told The Street in an interview. JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called the proposal “an encouraging step forward” that Congress must act on “with urgency.” Oppenheimer & Co. analysts indicate that while the tax plan could present savings to big banks, competition might ultimately force the firms to pass some of the tax savings to customers, as opposed to shareholders, in the form of lower lending rates or fees.
Earlier this year, big banks received a boost as investors rallied behind the new administration’s plans for tax reform along with a rollback of regulations imposed after the 2008 financial crisis. Bank stocks have since then pulled back due to Trump’s inability to follow through on many other campaign promises. (See also: Trump's Tax Reform Plan.)