NEW YORK: JPMorgan Chase said on Tuesday it was embarking on one of its most aggressive bank branch expansions in recent years, with plans to add more than 500 new U.S. locations by 2027 to broaden its footprint in areas where it is under-represented.

The multi-billion dollar investment will see it open new branches in places including Boston, Charlotte, the area surrounding Washington D.C., Minneapolis and Philadelphia, the bank said.

It did not specify the exact amount of the investment.

JPMorgan’s aggressive expansion strategy comes as some other lenders have been shrinking their presence. The number of active branches in the U.S. totaled 77,690 after 123 closures and 80 openings in the month of October, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

JPMorgan had the largest network at the end of 2023 with 4,897 branches. Rival Bank of America, which has also been adding new branches, had 3,845 at the end of December.

Buoyed by resilient consumers while bringing in more income from clients’ interest payments as the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs, JPMorgan made a record annual profit in 2023.

JPMorgan profit shrinks

The bank’s new branches will typically have a consultative area for customers to have a private conversation and will not use the teller line as the main focal point, Chase Consumer Banking CEO Jennifer Roberts told Reuters.

“Our branch network is one of the key reasons that customer open accounts with us and it has helped us attract deposits,” Roberts said. “We really view our branches as a storefront for the entire company and it is an anchor for us to expand our relationship with customers as we aim to be their primary financial partner.”

Marianne Lake, JPMorgan’s CEO of consumer and community banking, said at an investor conference in December that the bank was continuing to invest in its branch network and had a less than 5% branch share in 17 of the top 50 markets where it is trying to expand.

In the last five years the bank had added 650 new branches, Lake said during its investor day presentation last May.

She was appointed the sole CEO of the consumer division last month, which she previously ran together with Jennifer Piepszak.

The lender also plans to renovate nearly 1,700 of its other existing branches in the U.S. and will be hiring 3,500 more employees for its branch network. The bank had 309,926 employees worldwide at the end of December, higher than any of its peers.

JPMorgan also plans to close an additional 30 branches out of the nearly 60 that it has acquired during the First Republic Bank takeover last year, Roberts said. First Republic had 84 branches in eight states, and soon after the acquisition JPMorgan had announced it would shut about 21 of those.

The lender is also working to overhaul more than 20 of the First Republic locations into JPMorgan branches that will be distinct in branding and design compared to its Chase branches and aimed at its affluent clients, the bank said.

First Republic was the largest U.S. lender to fail since 2008. JPMorgan has said that its integration is on track.

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