Two top U.S. banks have reported sharply contrasting fourth-quarter earnings, with Citicorp's profits up 74% to $1 billion while J.P. Morgan's fell 51% to $193 million.

The sharp increase in earnings at Citicorp came mainly from the bank's global consumer business, an ongoing improvement in real estate lending, equity investments and global finance operations, according to Citicorp chairman John Reed.

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