JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has told U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling that his 50% tax on banker bonuses would unfairly penalize the U.S. lender, a person close to the company said.

Dimon, 53, mentioned plans to build a $2.4 billion European headquarters in London's Canary Wharf district as an example of the New York company's commitment to the British capital, the person said. Dimon reiterated that the banking company pays British taxes and did not take a U.K. taxpayer bailout, the person said, declining to be identified because the conversation was private.

The telephone call was made after Darling on Dec. 9 imposed a 50% tax on discretionary bonuses greater than $40,000 at all banks operating in the U.K.

The tax, which the Treasury says will raise more than $880 million, covers about 20,000 people in the U.K.

The Dimon phone conversation with Darling was reported Monday by the London Telegraph. JPMorgan Chase spokesman David Wells declined to comment. A U.K. Treasury spokesman defended the tax Monday as fair because it would be applied to all banks; he said he could not confirm that the conversation took place.

JPMorgan Chase paid $368 million in November 2008 for land in the Canary Wharf financial district to build a 1.9-million-square-foot tower.

Under the agreement with Canary Wharf's owners, who are to build the tower, JPMorgan Chase can scale back its size.

The headquarters would house JPMorgan Chase employees from seven other buildings.

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