JPMorgan Chase & Co. chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon on Monday called for a loosening of rules in the mortgage market, saying it is still too difficult for people to secure mortgages.
Speaking to Fox Business Network while on a bus tour of Florida, Dimon called the recent multi-state settlement on faulty foreclosures "a step forward," but said no one has convened all parties involved in mortgages to jointly form a rational mortgage policy.
"Let's open mortgage markets, let's decide and move on," Dimon said, referring to finger-pointing between the parties.
According to Dimon, many banks are lending despite stringent rules hampering loan-making, and JPMorgan in particular is "doing $10 billion a month" in mortgages.
He also said he thinks the U.S. has seen the bottom of the housing crisis, pointing out that rental prices are rising, it is cheaper to buy than rent in half of JPM's markets, and mortgages are at all-time affordability.
The bank plans in 2012 to open 175 more branches and is still hiring--in particular employing about 10 military veterans in a day, Dimon told Fox Business.
When asked about his view on the so-called Volcker laws, Dimon said he is fine with the rules restricting proprietary trading, but doesn't agree with those on market making, saying being able to make markets is beneficial to both the client and the bank.
He also reiterated that he doesn't intend to run for political office, and sees himself remaining with the bank for "five years plus."