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re big banks profiting off the backs of small business owners?
Our team at Novo is back with our second installment of our quarterly series, “Big Banks Make Big Small Business Profits.” We analyzed Q1 2023 earnings from Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo to see just how much money they’re making from small businesses.
Unfortunately, Q1 2023 is a lot more of the same: Big banks continue to make extraordinary revenue from fees, while focusing very little attention on small businesses in their quarterly reporting.
Here were a few of the takeaways:
- Three big banks raked in a combined $1.6 billion in fees from small businesses and consumers: Service fees continue to be a significant source of revenue for big banks. JP Morgan Chase reported an astounding $823 million in service fees from small businesses and consumers over the last quarter, while Bank of America generated $599 million and Wells Fargo $236 million.
- Bank fees can translate into more than $1,000 per year in costs for small business owners: The average U.S. small business owner makes well under $100,000 per year. Unfortunately, some of these small business owners have an unnecessary four-figure annual expense: bank fees. Small businesses can pay as much as $95 per month on monthly maintenance with JP Morgan Chase, and as much as $75 per month for Wells Fargo.
- Small businesses are barely mentioned in earnings calls: After conducting an analysis of the Q1 earnings calls of major banks, we were surprised by how infrequently they mentioned small businesses. Given that these banks generate significant profits from small businesses, the results were particularly striking. For example, both Chase and Bank of America only made a single reference to small businesses throughout their earnings calls.
Information accurate as of April 21, 2023.
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