Exclusive: JPMorgan eyes more corporate banking expansion

By Elinor Comlay

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ) is hiring 100 corporate bankers outside the United States, in a bet that loan demand in the rest of the world will grow faster than in the bank’s home base.

The bank is planning to add to the 200 international bankers it already has over the next two years, with the aim of selling more JPMorgan products to the biggest 3,000 companies worldwide.

“We have a pretty aggressive plan to expand in 2011,” Greg Guyett, chief executive of the global corporate bank, told Reuters in a recent interview in London.

Guyett was named late last year to head the global corporate bank, which is a joint venture between JPMorgan’s investment bank and its treasury and securities services unit, which processes payments.

“We’re trying to do more things with the same clients — that’s job No. 1,” Guyett said.

While JPMorgan has always had a global investment banking business, historically it has not been a big lender outside of the United States, unlike other large commercial banks such as Citigroup and HSBC (HSBA.L: ).

Now it is ramping up that business, and also hoping to sell clients products like trade finance and basic deposit accounts around the globe.

Selling more products to customers, an idea known as “cross-selling” in the industry, has become a popular buzzword for U.S. banks seeking to show they can increase revenue even as expectations for U.S. economic growth remain low.

JPMorgan is not alone is looking to developing markets to bolster revenues — Citigroup (C.N: ) has also said it is focused on expanding its already substantial business outside of the United States.

Latin America will be one area the global corporate bank focuses on in 2011, Guyett said, noting that other areas where JPMorgan is expanding include India, China and Southeast Asia.

To support the global corporate bank, the treasury and securities services business rolled out new branches in countries such as Saudi Arabia this year, and it opened a slew of branches in the Nordic countries two years ago.

“These are areas where our clients are growing and where our clients want us to grow,” said Claudia Slacik, chief executive of treasury and securities services in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

JPMorgan’s large investment bank is then able to offer a wide range of products to clients in these countries, via the network of corporate bankers, explained Daniel Pinto, co-chair of the investment bank in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

TURNING AROUND

Since JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns Cos in March 2008 and Seattle thrift Washington Mutual later that year, its U.S. business has dwarfed its overseas revenues.

JPMorgan only posts revenue by region for its investment bank. For the first nine months of the year, its investment banking revenue for the Asia Pacific region has grown 6 percent from a year earlier; but revenue has fallen 29 percent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is down 8 percent for the Americas.

Its treasury and securities services business posted revenue of $5.5 billion for the first nine months of the year, down about 1 percent from the year-earlier period.

JPMorgan executives, however, are optimistic the bank is starting to turn around its fortunes outside of the United States.

“We have had a lot of success, we are growing the international part of our revenues,” Guyett said. “It’s hard to see when you look at the whole JPMorgan picture because of the scale and size of the company … but quarter over quarter we see more coming from international and emerging markets.”

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Richard Chang)

Exclusive: JPMorgan eyes more corporate banking expansion