JPMorgan Chase is continuing its aggressive push into Florida with plans to open 37 more branches statewide this year, a move that will add more than 400 branch jobs to its network and boost Florida's hard-hit construction industry.
Included in the total are 12 branches in central-west Florida — specifically Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties — along with 16 branches in southeast Florida, six branches in southwest Florida, and three branches in Central Florida.
All told, the New York megabank said Wednesday that it will invest more than $50 million in new Florida branches over the next two years. The investment is slightly higher than the bank projected earlier this year.
Despite having a name with household recognition and a vast credit card network, Chase was slow to expand into Florida until it acquired Washington Mutual in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The deal gave it a base of more than 200 locations throughout the state.
Chase said it plans to add 375 to 500 branches in Florida by 2015. It already has a network of more than 280 branches and 1,200 automated teller machines in Florida.
"Florida is one of Chase's high-priority growth markets, and we plan to invest in the people, facilities and technology needed to serve Florida consumers and businesses well," said Mel Martinez, former U.S. senator and now chairman of Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for Chase.
"We are creating many jobs, including construction workers to build the branches, vendors to provide services to Chase and, most importantly, branch employees to help our customers with their financial needs."