As New York City seeks to convert tens of thousands of empty offices into housing units as businesses embrace remote or hybrid work, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is celebrating the additional thousands of new office spaces the banking giant will bring to the city in the coming years. In an interview with Spectrum News NY1 aired Nov. 27, Dimon discussed his vision for JPMorgan’s upcoming skyscraper headquarters at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown, the bank’s plans to open more branches across the U.S., and the role of face-to-face banking in an increasingly digital and cashless society.
“People like to visit their money,” Dimon said. “The nature of the branch has changed but people still go there. We’re still opening new branches, not just here…but in 48 states now.”
Dimon said, while bank branches are smaller than they were 20 years ago, they now act more as financial advice centers for small businesses, investors and homeowners. Banking has become more complex in the digital economy, and because of that, Dimon said, there will always be a need for in-person interactions.
At a press conference Nov. 20, Dimon congratulated construction workers for placing the final steel beam in the new JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Building on Park Avenue. Construction of the 60-story skyscraper first began in 2021. Once complete, expected in 2025, the building will house a penthouse conference center, restaurants and office space enough for more than 15,000 JPMorgan employees.
Dimon’s stance on the WFH/RTO debate
Despite many major companies adopting a hybrid model for work, Dimon is a staunch proponent of workers returning to the office. “We have some people who work from home, and I think it’s okay for some jobs. But in general, there’s nothing like face-to-face,” he told Spectrum. “I think for young people, for collaboration, for information sharing, for innovation, face-to-face is how it works.”
JPMorgan first began bringing staff back to the office in September 2020 (after the first wave of Covid-10 subsided) and had transitioned to a hybrid model by 2021, requiring workers to be in the office half the week. In April, the bank sent out a memo requiring managing directors and senior bankers to be in the office five days a week.
New York City has seen many companies, including Meta, end office leases as they make hybrid or remote work permanent. According to a report by Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit economic and policy research group, approximately half of Manhattan office workers work in-person on an average weekday, but only 9 percent come into the office five days a week.