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JPMorgan Chase CEO Dimon: US GDP could rise to 4% under next president

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took a long-term view on the U.S. economy and talked up the bank's competitive position in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC on Monday.

He suggested that his bank makes the world a better place.

"I think that JPMorgan makes it a better world," Dimon said Monday. "Every single day in 2,000 communities around the world, trying to do our job well, responsibly lending, opening branches, serving businesses."

Dimon also said he's seeing positive signs for the U.S. economy, and he sought to play down legislation brewing that could alter how large financial institutions do business on Wall Street.

"I wouldn't be over-sensitive to short-term data," the chairman and CEO said in Irvine, California, on the bank's bus tour, which gives it the opportunity to solicit feedback from staffers.

At the same time, Dimon is sensitive to the economy's dependence on data. He said that if the next U.S. president implements the appropriate reform programs, that GDP could rise to 4 percent. And in his bullish outlook for the American economy, he highlighted increasing wages and consumer spending as evidence.

But banks still need a little help. Most bank shares are down in 2016, as central bankers have not lifted interest rates as much as market watchers suspected they would. Dimon said that "normalizing interest rates would be a good thing," but he declined to make any specific projections.

Jamie Dimon
Ken Preston | CNBC
Jamie Dimon

Democrats and Republicans are contemplating the return of Glass-Steagall, the legislation that would break up banks' unified commercial and investment banking operations. Dimon sounded off on the recent shift in tone coming from Washington.

The absence of "Glass-Steagall had nothing to do with the crisis," Dimon said. The act, which forced investment and commercial banks to remain separate entities, was repealed in 1999. That repeal is blamed by some for the financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession that began in 2008, though others question the validity of that link.

Most Wall Street banks have had to cut staff to offset declining profitability, but in its last earnings call, JPMorgan Chase executives revealed they were adding hires. Dimon said Monday that the bank may yet launch new branches, as well.

"If we can find a good place to open a branch, we'll open a branch," he said.

Looking at Europe, Dimon expressed concern about the future of the eurozone following the June 23 Brexit vote. U.S. markets seem to have largely shrugged off the referendum, which called for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, but the chief executive took a more pessimistic tone when asked about the possibility of a breakdown of the currency bloc.

"Unfortunately, that could be one of the fat-tail outcomes of Brexit," he said, adding that "It may take more than five years, but may very well happen."

The United Kingdom is not a member of the shared currency bloc, but its looming departure from the EU and talks about its future status threaten the economic stability of the broader region.

Late last month, JPMorgan Chase exceeded second-quarter estimates with a profit of $1.55 per share, compared with estimates of $1.43 a share. The bank also reported better-than-expected revenue of $25.2 billion.

Shares of the bank are down 3.5 percent year to date.