But times are changing, and it's now the other way around, with the former trading at x1.8 tangible equity, compared with x2.3 tangible equity for the latter.

A few days ago, Jamie Dimon remarked that it was not really a good idea for JPM to buy back its shares at such a high valuation. Should US Bancorp shareholders conclude from this that their investment is fairly valued?

In any case, like JPM, USB has always been pragmatic with its share buybacks. The group carried out buybacks in 2020 and 2022 - during the pandemic and the regional bank crisis - when their valuation had fallen back below the threshold of x1.5 the value of tangible equity.

Otherwise, the emphasis was on dividend distribution. Dividends have been rising steadily over the past fifteen years, since the end of the subprime crisis.

Over this period, earnings per share have hovered around an average of $3, while USB has succeeded in maintaining a higher return on assets than its peers - JPM, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi - thanks to a business portfolio with a strong emphasis on services.

Like the US banking sector as a whole, the Minneapolis-based group benefited fully from the rise in interest rates. Its net interest margin reached $17.4 billion in 2023, compared with $14.7 billion the previous year - even though deposits under custody fell sharply.

In consolidation, however, the net margin fell sharply as the bank invested substantially in modernizing its information systems. This has led many observers to point out that USB is currently operating at a level of earnings below its real potential.

The same observers maintain that the normalization of the net margin - induced by a level of investment that would return to the average, should this scenario materialize - is not yet factored into the price, since USB remains valued at less than ten times its expected profit in 2025.