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Dimon: Don’t Worry About JPMorgan

The bank’s CEO and chairman addressed succession plan concerns and promised that fintech apps won’t replace banks anytime soon.

  • Julie Segal

JPMorgan Chase isn’t threatened by the broad range of Silicon Valley-funded fintech applications that millennial and others increasingly use for some banking services, according to chief executive Jamie Dimon.

Speaking to an audience of asset managers and allocators at Institutional Investor and CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference on Tuesday, Dimon said he didn’t believe his firm would be hurt by the rise of fintech apps, though he said he still closely monitors some capabilities, such as person-to-person payments.

“You never want to be a CEO of a company and get complacent,” he said.

Dimon said JPMorgan is working to make its own person-to-person services cheaper and faster in order to remain competitive. He stressed that a number of fintech start-ups that offer banking services are “free riders” on the existing banking infrastructure and need those rails to operate effectively.

In his wide-ranging conversation at the conference, Dimon also touched on the issue of succession at JPMorgan. The bank has lost a number of top executives who were being groomed as possible CEOs, including Jes Staley, who ran JPMorgan’s investment banking division before leaving to be CEO of Barclays Bank.

“You’re going to have people leave; then people will say they’re forced out,” Dimon said, adding that he’s “not going to tell you why” people leave.

He pointed to a crop of possible successors still at the bank, such as Mary Erdoes, who runs the firm’s $1 trillion asset management division. Dimon said he would remain at the bank for five more years, a timeframe he has repeatedly given to investors. Still, he said he would miss his job if he left.

“I would miss the challenge, the intellectual challenge,” he said. “I’d miss the crusade.”

When the conversation turned to the possibility of de-regulation under President Donald Trump, Dimon reiterated his well-known opinion that some of the rules enacted since the financial crisis are inhibiting economic growth.

He stressed that he doesn’t want a return to the regulatory environment that was in place before the financial crisis, but said he believes regulators need to assess the value and implications of new rules governing everything from mortgages to lending.

“Small business formation is less than it’s been in any other recovery,” he said. “It’s not the new normal. It’s our policies.”