JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank, is opening its first consumer banking branches in the D.C. area as part of an aggressive push to put brick-and-mortar branches in up to 20 new U.S. markets within the next five years, chief executive Jamie Dimon said Wednesday on CBS Evening News.
The expansion will bring 70 consumer banking branches to the region, resulting in an estimated 700 new hires, the company said. JPMorgan Chase also said it would provide $4 billion in home and small-business loans around the region, boost affordable-housing lending by 50 percent to $500 million and increase an earlier philanthropic donation from $10 million to $25 million.
The news is to be formally announced Thursday afternoon at a news luncheon hosted by Dimon and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) among others.
Executives said the D.C.-area locations would give the bank a stronger foothold in the regional market and deepen the its ties to communities.
“We view our branches as the heart and soul of our company,” said Thasunda Duckett, chief executive of consumer banking at Chase Bank. “When we bring our branches into market, we’re expanding access to local banking and bringing new job opportunities.”
The expansion is part of a broader national push for JPMorgan Chase, which is doubling down on its brick-and-mortar branches at a time when its closest rivals are closing them. The bank is planning to add 15 to 20 markets before 2023, the company said in a release, adding 400 branches to the 5,130 it has nationally.
Executives said the move was enabled by savings the company realized under the tax bill passed late last year, which slashed corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. Executives said they are also encouraged by recent progress toward a regional deal to provide a dedicated funding mechanism for the area’s Metrorail system.
“Tax reform did unlock a lot of potential investments for us,” said Peter Scher, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region and global head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “What we have seen is a more positive business environment locally and nationally; [tax reform] gave us a chance to say we’re going to keep investing in our employees, in our branches.”
The company already has a presence in the region through JPMorgan Private Bank, a wealth management arm that serves individuals and families. Like every major financial institution, the company also maintains a Washington lobbying presence. And the bank says there are some 2 million local customers who use its services despite having no branches.
Seven of the 70 planned branches have already received regulatory approval. They include sites in the District’s Columbia Heights, Logan Circle and Georgetown neighborhoods, one branch near McPherson Square Metro station, one in the District’s Ward 7 east of the Anacostia River, one in Bethesda and two in Arlington.
The new branches will mean households and businesses in the region can tap the bank for mortgages and small-business loans. JPMorgan executives say they are committing $4 billion over five years for regional home and small-business lending.
The branch expansion is the latest local initiative for JPMorgan. In September, the bank announced that it would donate $10 million for economic development efforts in the District’s Wards 7 and 8, which are home to lower-income neighborhoods. The expansion includes a commitment to donate an additional $15 million throughout the region.
“This is a terrific example of how Maryland is working with world-class companies to bring about real change and greater opportunities in our state and our region, from new jobs and workforce training to small business growth,” Hogan said in a release.