JPMorgan Ready to Expand Operations: Dimon


JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon plans to expand the second-largest U.S. bank's investment and private banking divisions, he told shareholders in an annual letter.

Jamie Dimon
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JPMorgan will this year expand its prime services business, which it acquired when it bought Bear Stearns in March 2008, according to the letter. That unit provides custody, financing and other services to large investors mostly in the United States. JPMorgan is expanding this business in Europe and Asia, Dimon wrote.

JPMorgan is also adding investment banking and trading staff in countries such as China, India and Brazil, according to the letter, so the bank can cover more customers in those markets.

Dimon Attacks Big Bank Backlash

At an investor day last month, JPMorgan executives said the bank will spend about $1 billion this year on technology at its investment bank.

In the letter, Dimon also discussed plans to expand JPMorgan's investment management and private banking businesses, which were announced at the investor day last month. JPMorgan will add more than 500 bankers, investors and other staff to its private bank this year, Dimon wrote.

Separately Dimon, who has emerged as one of the industry's most prominent voices after his bank weathered the credit crisis better than most, repeated his view that big banks are not inherently risky.

While JPMorgan broadly supports the principles behind further consumer protection and increased regulation of derivatives and securitizations, he wrote, the bank is concerned about the details of some proposals.

"We would urge our regulator and legislators to ... proceed with clarity and purpose and avoid broadly penalizing all firms alike—regardless of whether they were reckless or prudent," he wrote.

JPMorgan shares have risen about 7 percent since the start of the year.