JPMorgan Shareholders Approve Pay Packages After $2B Trading Loss

PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase & Co. chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the University of Rochesters New York City Conference, May 3, 2012 in New York City.Mario Tama/Getty Images
JPMorgan Chase & Co. chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the University of Rochester's New York City Conference, May 3, 2012 in New York City.

Despite the bank's $2 billion trading loss, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon still has the support of the company's stockholders. Today at the company's annual meeting shareholders voted to approve his multi-million pay package.

Shareholders voted 91.5 percent in the "say on pay" vote for JP Morgan's compensation for its executives. They voted 41 percent in favor of an independent chairman, or splitting the role of chairman of the board and chief executive officer, both held by Dimon presently.

The company awarded Dimon, 56, $23 million last year, one of the few CEOs of U.S. banks who did not take a pay cut.

Dimon repeated his comments of contrition, revealing no new details about the massive loss and saying the bank agrees "with the intent of the Volcker Rule," the pending regulation limiting proprietary trading.

"We are not against new regulations," Dimon said.

Dimon said that he has discussed his opinions about financial regulation in previous letters from the chairman. He said the bank has supported 70 to 80 percent of the Dodd-Frank Act and, "I never denied we need good regulation."

"We believe in good, simple and strong regulation," Dimon said in response to one shareholder who asked if the company was resisting new legislation, adding and it is "not a matter of more or less" regulation.

The Justice Department has opened a "preliminary inquiry" into the $2 billion trading loss, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Former JP Morgan investment banker and presently a Brookings Institution fellow, Douglas Elliott, and other financial analysts say it is not clear if the Volcker rule under the Dodd-Frank Act, which limits proprietary trading and has yet to be implemented, would have prevented the loss.

"It's important we don't overact," Elliott said. "There's a lot we don't know."

Elliott said it is unclear how much responsibility Dimon has for the loss, which has already led to the resignation of chief investment officer, Ina Drew, on Monday.

Elliott, like many other analysts, was against the idea of having Dimon leave the firm as a result of the trading loss.

"Clearly he bears some responsibility for what happened. There's so much we don't know yet, it's hard to say how much how responsibility," Elliott said.

"I think there's a still a great reservoir of trust in Jamie Dimon but less than there was before," he said.

Elliott, who worked at JP Morgan for 15 years, from 1985 to 1997 then 2006 to 2008, said the loss was relatively small for JPMorgan's size.

The $2 billion pre-tax loss is about one month of earnings for the firm, which had profit of about $25 billion pre-tax last year, Elliott explained in a Brookings paper.

The loss is about one quarter's worth of credit losses on JP Morgan's loan business.

One shareholder asked Dimon why the company would not initiate further principal reduction for underwater homeowners if the loss was not significant to the company's bottom line. But officials did not respond.

"You purchased bad loans at a discount...Pass that discount onto clients," she said. "We're talking about real people not just dollar signs and investors - real investors on the streets."

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.