NEW YORK — The six biggest US banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America, have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years.
That’s the amount allotted to lawyers and litigation, as well as for settling claims about shoddy mortgages and foreclosures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sum tops the banks’ combined profit last year.
The mounting bills have vexed bankers who are counting on expense cuts to make up for slow revenue growth and make room for higher payouts. About 40 percent of the legal and litigation outlays arose since January 2012, and banks are warning the tally may surge as regulators, prosecutors, and investors press new claims. The prospect is clouding outlooks for stock prices, and by some estimates the damage could last another decade. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.