"We'd love to be in the South," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told a shareholder Tuesday who asked if Chase would have more branches in places like Florida and Georgia. Speaking at the bank's annual shareholders meeting, Dimon said he wants to expand the company's consumer banking business in Washington, D.C., and the Southern United States. As reported by Reuters, Dimon declined to comment on takeover talk, though he reasserted his view that JPMorgan's pending merger with Bear Stearns for about $1.5-billion would not stop it from pursuing other deals. Recent takeover speculation has linked JPMorgan Chase with SunTrust Banks, an Atlanta-based banking company with a big stake in the Florida market. SunTrust has long resisted rumors of takeover, with potential buyers over the years including Wachovia and Bank of America. For those with long memories, Chase did operate consumer branches in parts of Florida in the 1990s but chose to leave the market. The banking company still operates a large back-office and international transaction processing center in Tampa.
JPMorgan boss Dimon sets his sights on the South
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