Coronavirus

JPMC’s Dimon Assures Bank’s Health, Plans To Improve Diversity In Annual Shareholders’ Letter

JPMorgan’s Dimon Talks COVID-19 Strategies

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, sent out his annual letter to shareholders on Monday (April 6), outlining strategies amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. 

“We have the resources to emerge from this crisis as a stronger country,” Dimon said in the letter. “America is still the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen.”

Dimon also addressed the company’s push to improve its diversity and inclusion efforts. JPMorgan came under fire last December when a customer and an employee alleged racial discrimination, according to published reports at the time. In response, the company determined it could improve in several areas, including diversity training, hiring practices, employee communication and better access for customers to financial products and programs.

“We are committed to ensuring that ours is one where all employees and customers are treated equally and fairly,” stated a letter from Co-Presidents and Chief Operating Officers Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith to JPMorgan employees, which was included in Dimon’s shareholder letter.

Dimon also reviewed the company’s financial health in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. JPMorgan, the country’s largest bank by assets, is in a stable position to grapple with the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, he said. Although the bank had a banner year for revenue, Dimon said earnings “will be down meaningfully in 2020” because of the coronavirus.  

“… We incorporate plans for resilience in everything we do – resilience for hurricanes, data center failures, cyberattacks and other issues. And while we had not envisioned the effects of a pandemic like this one, all of this preparation has paid off,” Dimon said in the letter.

He also had good things to say about the Fed’s response to the financial strains in the markets. He added that the Fed could do more, such as “including additional lending facilities and relaxing capital and liquidity requirements to boost the system if needed.”

About one million people stop by a JPMorgan bank branch every day, Dimon said, adding that the bank’s credit card and debit card transaction volume is $1.1 trillion a year.

He also noted that the lender has over 180,000 employees currently working from home, including traders, portfolio managers, call center teams and more worldwide.

Research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute indicates that half of small businesses “have less than 15 cash buffer days, reinforcing why small businesses are being heavily disrupted by the current crisis,” Dimon’s letter noted. 

Dimon returned to work on Thursday (April 2) following emergency heart surgery on March 5. In a memo to employees, the CEO, 64, said he has been convalescing at home and “getting stronger every day, and I am happy to be back to work this week – albeit working remotely like so many of you.”

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LIVE PYMNTS ROUNDTABLE: MODERNIZING & SCALING FOR THE NEW NORMAL

The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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