JPMorgan's Dimon defends Trump advisory role, deregulation

FILE PHOTO - Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. on May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N Chief Executive Jamie Dimon on Tuesday responded to criticism from angry shareholders of his role advising President Donald Trump on economic matters, saying he would help "any president" in office.

At the bank’s annual meeting in Wilmington, Delaware, several attendees demanded answers from Dimon about his role on a White House business council and JPMorgan’s involvement with financial deregulation efforts in Washington.

“I would try to help any president of the United States, because I’m a patriot,” Dimon said. “That does not mean we agree with all the policies that an administration comes up with.”

Asked whether he would step down from Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which includes over a dozen leaders of major corporations, Dimon said simply, “No.”

Like annual shareholder meetings held by other big U.S. banks this year, JPMorgan’s was dominated by activists concerned about Trump’s positions on immigration, minorities, human rights and the environment.

The actual business of the meeting was less controversial: voting shareholders sided with management on all major resolutions, including the election of directors and executive compensation. Activists’ proposals were rejected, though a proposal to allow investors with 10 percent of the total shares outstanding to call a special meeting received more than 42 percent support of shares voted, according to the bank’s preliminary tally.

In discussing Trump, Dimon repeated a metaphor he has used several times about the president being a pilot and the United States an airplane.

He also defended JPMorgan’s track record with issues shareholders raised, including its support for “free and fair trade” with Mexico, and argued that efforts to reduce Wall Street regulations will help the economy.

Reporting by Dan Freed; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Dan Grebler