J.P. Morgan chief: We nearly quit troubled eurozone

J.P. Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon has admitted the bank discussed pulling out of the eurozone’s most troubled markets, but decided to stay for the long term, mainly for social reasons.

According to the Financial Times, Dimon revealed the group nearly left Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said: “We have about $15bn exposure across the euro five. It is largely to corporations and sovereign and some banks.”

He described the decision to stay as “largely social and partially economic.”

Dimon said the bank was aware of the risks but added, “I hope we will still be doing business there in 50 or 75 years.”

He added he was tired of the perception banks and big business generally are seen as only motivated by short-term gain.

“Short-term profit means nada,” he said. “If you asked me to increase profit by 50% next year, I could do it. Take a little more risk.”

But such a decision would not be in the longer term interest of customers, employees, communities and shareholders he said, adding that he was making choices to drive the bank’s business for the next 10 to 15 years.

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

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