For JPMorgan, breaking up could be hard to do

Pedestrians pass in front of the JPMorgan Chase headquarters building in New York.
Ron Antonelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The JPMorgan Chase breakup drumbeat is starting up again on Wall Street.

With the largest holding company in the U.S. by assets ($2.53 trillion) in regulator crosshairs, industry analysts are wondering how long it will be before the company splits up and how a breakup would occur.

The bank itself has been mum about its future in that regard, but that hasn't stopped a growing swell of speculation about what will happen.

Sparking the latest round was the Federal Reserve's move to make JPM effectively hold 12 percent of capital as a required buffer against the type of systemic breakdown that precipitated the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Through stress tests and additional measures, the Fed and other regulators are looking to prevent another "too big to fail" event.

But the capital requirement at least on its face is greater than its peers, increasing anticipation that the anti-JPMorgan crowd may finally get its wish and see the firm split into as few as two or as many as four pieces.