JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest investment banks in the world. It conducts a wide range of business in investment banking, commercial banking and retail banking.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the big four banks in the United States, along with Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup. It has the largest capitalization and third largest deposit base of any bank in the United States. Across the world it has more than 220,000 employees.

JPMorgan Chase is the result of a number of mergers of illustrious names in banking such as the name bearers J P Morgan and Chase Manhattan, but it also has other great banking names such as Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover, Bank One, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

JPMorgan Chase was formed in 2000 when J P Morgan & Co merged with Chase Manhattan Bank. It still uses the separate brands, with the Chase brand used for credit cards in North America, commercial banking and retail banking in the United States. JPMorgan is used for the investment banking side, reflecting the near iconic status of the old J P Morgan bank in this area. This includes private banking, asset management, treasury services and private wealth management.

For reporting purposes the bank is organized into six business segments. The investment bank includes the underwriting, corporate lending and principle investing. Asset management is the services for wealthy individuals including private banking and wealth management and the investment management activities. Treasury services make up another division, providing cash management and liquidity advice to major companies. The successful Chase card services have another division dealing with credit card services. Retail Financial services deals with the Chase retail banking network in the United States along with consumer lending for either mortgages or autos. Finally there is the commercial banking arm which deals with small and medium sized businesses under the Chase brand, the so called “middle market” including real estate, equipment leasing and various types of business credit.

J P Morgan and Company was the most influential financial institution in the United States in the early twentieth century. In the rest of the world it rivaled the Bank of England in importance. It had its origins in a merchant banking house in London called George Peabody, which later changed its name to J S Morgan & Co after John Pierpont Morgan’s father. J P Morgan was founded in New York as Drexel Morgan, an agent of for European investors into the United States. It financed the world’s first billion dollar company, the United States Steel Corporation and was also a big railroad financer. It became the main financer of the British and French war efforts in World War I.

Chase Manhattan Bank was one of the largest and fastest growing commercial banks in the United States in the last decade of the twentieth century. It had been involved in a number of mergers including with Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover. It wanted to improve its standing in the Investment banking area, and so merged with J P Morgan & Co to produce JPMorgan Chase.

JPMorgan Chase has been seen as one of the more solid banks in the United States during the financial crisis. In consequence it took over the weak merchant bank Bear Stearns, which had suffered disproportionately from poor mortgage investments. It also merged with Washington Mutual which had pursued an aggressive growth strategy by targeting those who wanted to buy homes but could not get conventional loans.

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