The same day that JPMorgan Chase predicted a Republican tax break would trim its rate by about a third, CEO Jamie Dimon said the largest U.S. lender was considering what it could do to help the country in return.
"We think we should," he told investors during a Jan. 12 earnings conference. "It’s time that all of America share broadly, and we’re going to have things that we think are good for some employees, and I think also for sustainable growth for communities."
What executives ultimately devised was a $20 billion investment over the next five years, announced Tuesday, that will boost loans for affordable homes and small businesses, add to a branch network that already spans 23 states and raise wages for hourly employees by an average 10 percent.
Funded in part by savings from last year's tax-code overhaul, which slashed the top corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent and encouraged companies to invest money held overseas in the U.S., the program also reflects JPMorgan's recent growth and the benefits from less stringent federal regulations.
The bank is joining companies from rival Bank of America to smartphone-maker Apple that announced investment plans after the tax cut, which was intended to meet President Trump's goals of bolstering economic growth and creating jobs.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America awarded a $1,000 bonus to 145,000 of its employees in December, while Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said it will hire as many as 20,000 people during the next five years, even after paying as much as $38 billion under a one-time assessment on overseas assets.
JPMorgan, for the second time in as many years, is boosting wages for 22,000 lower-level workers from a range of $12 to $16.50 per hour to between $15 and $18 an hour, depending on the cost of living where the employees are based. The raises will be effective Feb. 25, the company said.
The lender, which drew about 45 percent of last year's $103 billion in revenue from its consumer business, will also add as many as 400 new branches through 2023, employing about 3,000 people.
It will focus first on cities where it already has business customers but lacks consumer offices, according to a person familiar with the bank's plans. JPMorgan already serves about 61 million U.S. households, or one in every two families.
“The heart of our company is our retail branches,” Gordon Smith, the head of the division, said in a statement. “We are a leader in 23 states, but aren’t yet in major markets like Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and many others."
The firm said it will widen a commitment to home loans in low- and moderate-income communities by 25 percent to $50 billion and boost home-ownership grants that can be used to cover down payments and closing costs to $2,500.
Loans to small businesses, a driver of U.S. job creation, will be boosted by about $4 billion over the next three years as JPMorgan adds 500 bankers to drive the expansion. It will also open new offices in Charleston, S.C.; Bethesda, Md., and other areas.
With small- and mid-size businesses making up more than half of the positions created in the U.S., the segment "is critical to the health of our communities," Doug Petno, the head of commercial banking, said in a statement. "We will be expanding our efforts and working even harder to deliver capital and ideas to support their success."
JPMorgan shares have climbed 37 percent in the past 12 months to $114.48, outpacing the broader S&P 500.