WASHINGTON JPMorgan Chase & Co made big donations to U.S. presidential campaigns, particularly Mitt Romney's, as it lobbied against financial regulations, according to a Reuters analysis of campaign financial reports on Friday.
JPMorgan Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who has been an ally of President Barack Obama, parlayed his bank's reputation as a white knight during the financial crisis into the position of champion of a beleaguered industry fighting against what it decries as excessive regulation.
But a $2 billion trading loss has diminished his credibility and has already provoked calls to get tougher on big banks. Dimon has been particularly critical of the so-called Volcker rule that proposes to ban proprietary trading by such institutions.
Romney's campaign raised $358,219 from employees of JPMorgan and its affiliates through the end of March and the Republican National Committee raised an additional $39,758 from JPMorgan employees and the company's Political Action Committee.
Romney Victory, a joint fundraising committee that splits its receipts between the Romney campaign and the RNC, has yet to report contributions.
Through March, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee together had raised $156,769 from employees of JPMorgan and its affiliates, including $64,997 raised by the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that splits receipts between the Obama campaign and the DNC.
Once on the short list of Obama's candidates to be Treasury Secretary, Dimon has for more than a year been fighting the administration publicly and privately over the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill.
A lifelong Democrat from Chicago, Dimon said during a forum in Ohio this week that he was now just "barely" a Democrat, the Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday.
Dimon has personally made no contribution to either presidential campaign this cycle, according to the campaign financial reports.
(Reporting by Alexander Cohen and Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Eric Walsh)