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JPMorgan (JPM) to Open 90 Branches in 2019, Hire New Staff

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As part of its broader plan to expand into new markets, JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) expects to open 90 new branches by this year end. Additionally, the bank intends to hire roughly 700 employees to manage these branches.

Starting this summer, several branches will be opened in some of the top markets in the country – Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; Greenville, SC; Kansas City, KS; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; and St. Louis, MI.Also, JPMorgan intends to add new branches in locations that are near large universities including Alabama and Nebraska, with plans for broader expansionin these states next year.

Moreover, JPMorgan will continue opening dozens of new branches in Greater Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Boston, as announced last year. Further, nearly 30% of the company’s new branches (up from prior expectation of 20%) will be located in low-to-moderate income communities.

In January 2018, the company had announced its initiative to expand into 15-20 new markets, open 400 new branches and hire nearly 3,000 employees by 2022. This expansion strategy will enable JPMorgan to provide retail and business banking services to markets where it already serves clients through its Investment Bank, Commercial Bank and Private Bank operations.

JPMorgan plans to open both branch models — traditional branch and “Everyday Express” branch – to better serve its customers. Customers will have access to cardless ATMs too.

Our Viewpoint

JPMorgan will be facing fierce competition in all the states where it plans to open new branches. In majority of the cities mentioned above, the company is expected to faces tough competition from Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) , Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) and BB&T (BBT - Free Report) , among others.

At the time when demand for digital offerings is on the rise, opening of brick and mortar retail branches is a bit surprising. Nonetheless, the company has been shuttering less profitable branches as well. As of Dec 31, 2018, the bank had 5,036 branches, a decline of 2% from 2017-level.

After a disastrous price performance in 2018, the stock has rallied 7% so far this year compared with the industry’s rise of 13.1%.

Currently, JPMorgan carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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