Most Powerful Women in Banking: Marianne Lake, JPMorgan Chase

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CEO, Consumer Lending

When Marianne Lake became the chief executive of consumer lending at JPMorgan Chase in May 2019, the business was already working on digitization efforts. So for the next 10 months, the unit forged ahead with its plan, based on its view of how the world was gradually changing.

Then the world changed very abruptly.

Within eight days of the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order, Chase launched a fully digital process for requesting loan forbearance. The rapid response enabled borrowers who were suffering through a financial hardship tied to COVID-19 to avoid waiting on the phone.

Chase also launched new functionality that allowed cardholders to cancel travel plans digitally, and took steps to further digitize the mortgage application process, including through the use of remote appraisals. “Of course a crisis is a mother of invention,” Lake said in a recent interview.

She argued that faster adoption of digital banking functionality during the pandemic has not only yielded efficiency gains for her company, it is also better for customers.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Chase had certain beliefs about the level of personal service that its customers expected, Lake said. A Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder may have had expectations about how long call wait times should be. But during the pandemic, the nation’s largest banking company has found that digital adoption is strong even among customers who previously would have said that they preferred the human touch. “If you get the customer experience right — if it’s intuitive, if it’s simple — then people really do like it,” Lake said.

Lake leads a team of 41,000 employees in auto lending, mortgages and credit cards, businesses that accounted for roughly one-fourth of the company’s revenue last year.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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Consumer lending JPMorgan Chase Marianne Lake Women in Banking