JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the country, is heading to the nation's capital.
During an appearance Wednesday on the CBS "Evening News," JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said that the bank plans to open 70 branches in the Washington metropolitan area, creating roughly 700 jobs.
Additionally, the New York megabank set a target of making $4 billion in home mortgages and business loans in the region, as well as donating $25 million to local charities, according to the report.
The expansion is part of a much broader, multicity plan, announced earlier this year, to add as many as 400 branches in cities in the mid-Atlantic and along the East Coast, including Philadelphia and Boston. In announcing the new details on CBS, Dimon cited recently enacted corporate tax cuts, along with the anticipated relaxation of post-crisis regulations, as the catalysts for the expansion.
“Because of regulatory reform and tax reform, we have capital, we want to grow and expand,” he said.
With its move into Washington and the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, JPMorgan will be entering an already crowded banking market.
Bank of America currently controls the region’s largest share of deposits, at about 23% of the market, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Wells Fargo ranks second, with about 16% of local deposits, followed closely by PNC Financial Services Group and SunTrust Banks, with 14% and 12%, respectively. Other competitors in the market include Citigroup, Capital One Financial, BB&T and M&T Bank.
Dimon did not say when the first D.C.-area branches will open.
The move into the D.C. market is notable, as well, given Dimon’s increasing stature in public policy circles. He served as a member of President Trump's council of CEO advisers, until that group voluntarily disbanded last year following the president's inflammatory comments following a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. In late 2016, he also took over as chairman of the Business Roundtable, an influential corporate lobbying group.
Dimon weighed in on a number of public policy topics during the interview.
Asked if he believes recent tax cuts have been distributed fairly across the economy, Dimon said this: “Over time they will, but it’s very hard to do on day one.”
His company's branch expansion is a case in point, he said. To move into new geographic markets, JPMorgan has had to hire real estate executives, tellers and a range of other positions. “I couldn’t do it overnight,” he said.
Dimon was also asked about recent comments he made in his annual letter to shareholders in which he criticized government policies on such issues as trade and immigration and urged policymakers and school systems to do more to better prepare students for the workforce.
“I’ve been disappointed in the progress we’ve made in this country,” Dimon said in the interview.
“These public policy issues have hurt the growth of America dramatically. They’re hurting the future of America. They’re hurting future jobs. They’re hurting the poor more than they hurt the rich. And if we could do a better job in public policy, I think the country would be far better off.”