JP Morgan’s co-president Daniel Pinto still hopes its new China securities venture will be approved next year, and insists the US giant’s aspirations in the world’s second largest economy will not be “derailed” by any setbacks.
The biggest bank in the US by total assets, JP Morgan applied to the China Securities Regulatory Commission last May to open a securities firm in which it will hold a 51% stake. Which is likely to increase to a stake of 100% over the next few years as allowed by regulations.
The move followed China’s surprise decision in November to open its financial industry to foreign control.
“We haven’t been granted the license. The processing will probably take a year. But so far things are going fine,” said Pinto in an interview with the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.
“We hope it will be next year that we get the approvals.”
In January, JP Morgan named Pinto and Gordon Smith as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers.
Pinto leads its corporate and investment banking business, while Smith runs consumer and community banking, and commentators predict the appointments map a clear road ahead for the banking powerhouse, with the two now in poll position to succeed Jamie Dimon, the current CEO, if the need arises.
With China’s economy growing at a relatively fast pace and the country’s financial services sector is projected to expand rapidly, Pinto is upbeat about the bank’s business expansion there.
In addition, JP Morgan has made some changes to its China strategy since earlier this year, including a management reshuffle and plans to expand its lines of business and workforce.
“The fact we are being allowed to have a majority-controlled entity is a very positive event. It gives us confidence to invest more. And we are going to invest across all of our products – trading equities, fixed income, banking, corporate banking, asset management, private banking, all lines of business,” Pinto said.
In May, the bank appointed Mark Leung as the new CEO of China. He has worked with the bank for 21 years, and his previous position was co-head of global equities and prime services.