JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s first quarter earnings rose to a net income of $5.6 billion up from $3.3 billion for the same period last year, which the bank giant credited to strong gains its investment bank and other businesses.

Earnings per share for the first quarter were $1.28, up from $.74 in the first quarter of 2010.

The bank’s retail financial services division continued its positive performance, JPMorgan Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in the firm’s earnings announcement on Wednesday, as it continued to add branches and expand its sales force. That positive performance is still weighed down by mortgage-tied losses, he said.

Mortgage banking, auto and other lending posted a net loss of $937 million, compared with net income of $257 million last year. Net revenue for that business sank $1.2 billion or 64% from the previous year to $696 million.

“Unfortunately, these losses will continue for awhile,” Dimon said. “Rest assured, we are fully engaged in fixing our problems and addressing our mistakes from the past, and we will build the best mortgage business going forward.”

Other results highlighted in the earnings report include:

The investment bank business’ net income fell 4% from the previous year to $2.4 billion as the provision for credit losses lowered, non-interest expense rose and net revenue dipped. The net income results were up 58% from the previous quarter. Net revenue for that business was $8.2 billion compared to $8.3 billion in the prior year.

Asset management had earnings of $466 million, up $74 million or 19% from the previous year. Net revenue was $2.4 billion, up $275 million or 13% from last year. Revenue from private banking was $1.3 billion, a 15% increase from last year. Institutional revenue rose 1% to $549 million. Retail revenue rose 24% to $540 million.

Retail financial services had a net loss of $208 million compared to a net loss of $131 million in the prior year. Net revenue for the year fell to $6.3 billion, a drop of $1.5 billion or 19% from last year.

Retail banking reported a net income of $891 million, which represented no change from the previous year. Net revenue for that business rose 2% from last year to $4.4 billion.

Commercial banking net income rose by $156 million, or 40%, to $546 million, reflecting a lower credit loss provision and higher net revenue. Net revenue rose by $100 million, or 7%, to $1.5 billion.

Treasury and security services posted a net income of $316 million, which was $37 million or 13% higher than last year. Net revenue rose to $1.8 billion, an $84 million, or 5%, increase from the previous year.

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