New York-based JPMorgan Chase Bank’s predecessors and affiliates have had offices in Florida since at least the early 1980s.
But in Miami, Chase branch offices were not a common sight until it took over bankrupt Washington Mutual Bank and its branch network six years ago and began an aggressive expansion throughout the state. JPMorgan Chase Bank does business as Chase.
“When Chase decided to purchase WaMu [Washington Mutual] back in 2009, we only had nine branches in Florida, mainly in West Palm Beach, Boca and Naples,” said George Acevedo, the Miami-based head of Chase consumer banking and wealth management banking for Florida, in response to questions sent by email. “Our branch network has grown to 393 locations in the state, and about 150 in South Florida.”
To make banking with Chase more convenient, the firm also has built up its ATM network and now has about 700 in the tri-county area out of 1,400 statewide.
The branches in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties serve consumers and small business clients, he said, as well as larger commercial customers. Chase Private Client is the company’s wealth management banking service and is available at 280 of the bank’s 393 branches statewide, while investment services are provided by affiliate J.P. Morgan Securities.
Chase sees strong opportunities to gain market share and continues to add new locations and bankers to compete more effectively.
“We currently have the largest branch network in Miami-Dade and have been strategically adding locations — like the one we just opened in Coconut Grove,” Acevedo said. “We plan to open seven new branches in Florida in 2016.”
Chase faces heavy competition in Florida’s dynamic financial sector, going up against other large banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Sun Trust Bank and Regions Bank, as well as scores of other international, regional and state financial institutions. Despite this, it has been able to attract a large number of clients and substantial deposits in the few years it has been active in the market.
“Over the last few years, our bank has grown more deposits than any major competitor, and we are now No. 4 in the Florida market,” Acevedo said.
And Florida is a key market for Chase. “We are the second-largest growth market for Chase in the country,” he said. “We are very bullish about Florida.”
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s figures for June 30, 2015, Chase was in fourth place for deposits in Florida, with more than $24.9 billion, or 4.96 percent of the market.
In first place was Bank of America (19.48 percent of deposits), followed by Wells Fargo (14.93 percent) and Sun Trust Bank (9.21 percent).
While the Chase brand is important in attracting clients, Acevedo said that service and convenience are key factors.
“Generally speaking, customers are looking for the most convenient bank, and our No. 1 priority is to become the most convenient bank in the country,” Acevedo said.
Chase has invested heavily in technology, so that branches and other channels — like online banking — can provide services wherever customers are located, he said. In addition, the bank is converting its branches to “advice centers,” so clients can readily obtain counseling on how to manage their money, and staffs its offices with bankers who understand the needs of small businesses and can meet their lending and cash management requirements.
“Our most critical focus has been on improving the customer experience,” Acevedo said. “Our efforts have earned us the No. 1 spot in customer service from J.D. Power for two years in a row.”
Chase is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company with global operations that includes J.P. Morgan Securities and other units. The holding company was formed in 2000 when J.P. Morgan and The Chase Manhattan Corp. merged.
In South Florida, Chase has 2,800 employees, out of more than 240,000 globally. Miami is the headquarters for the bank’s South Florida consumer and wealth management businesses.
Acevedo has been with Chase for 27 years and started his career at Chase Manhattan Bank as a teller. He later was promoted to branch manager, the first of several moves to jobs of increasing responsibility. He moved to Florida to help expand Chase operations after the WaMu acquisition and, prior to taking over his current position in Miami, helped Chase enter the retail banking market in Jacksonville.
Chase is active in South Florida education and community affairs. It has committed $5 million over the next five years to increasing job skills in partnership with the Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal initiative. It also awarded a $440,000 grant to Broward College to develop a certification program in mechatronics, a high-demand sector in technology, and provides financial and volunteer support to other organizations, including the Urban League’s Center for Working Families, Habitat for Humanity and Feeding Children Everywhere.
Chase assigns high priority to small business lending, and had helped about 137,500 small businesses in South Florida as of March 31. Two of its clients are Wynwood-based Panther Coffee, a retail and wholesale coffee business, and Rex Fabrics, a company providing high-quality fabrics, plus custom dressmaking, tailoring and upholstery services in Little Havana.
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JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.
Business: Doing business as Chase, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. is part of the financial holding company JPMorgan Chase & Co., which includes J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and other units. Chase is one of the world’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with operations in more than 60 countries. J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan Bank had offices in Florida in the 1980s. Chase aggressively expanded its retail presence in the state after it took over Washington Mutual in 2009, growing from nine branches at that time to 393 today, of which 150 are in South Florida. Florida ranks as Chase’s second-largest growth market in the U.S.
Founded: Chase traces its roots to 1799, when the bank’s earliest predecessor, The Manhattan Co., was chartered. In 2000, J.P. Morgan and The Chase Manhattan Corp. merged.
World headquarters: New York, N.Y.
Headquarters for South Florida operations: 1450 Brickell Ave., Miami.
South Florida leadership: Miami-based George Acevedo, market director of Chase’s consumer banking and wealth management banking in Florida.
Employees: 2,800 in South Florida; more than 240,000 worldwide.
Operations: 150 branches and 700 ATMs in South Florida, out of 393 branches and 1,400 ATMs statewide.
Net revenues: $94.2 billion worldwide in 2014; more than $23.5 billion in third quarter 2015.
Ownership: Traded on the NYSE (Symbol: JPM).