JP Morgan Chase is one the most famous names in investment banking and has always been a keen investor in technology to improve its business. It has divisions in 50 different countries and acquired rivals Bear Stearn in late 2007.
It made a high-profile purchase of the stricken investment bank Bear Stearns, which became a victim of the US credit crunch. The move followed a controversial agreement by the Federal Reserve in March to fund up to $30 billion of Bears less liquid assets.
The aim was to prevent the JP Morgan Chase balance sheet being hurt by the deal, but it initially offered only $2 per share, valuing Bear at a mere $236 million. It has since upped its offer to $10 per share, which now values the firm at more like $2.1 billion.
The commitment to technology at JP Morgan Chase is clear in its 2008 annual report. In the previous September the bank had acquired Washington Mutual for $1.9 billion after it collapsed. JP Morgan Chase acquired the deposit assets, 5,000 cash points, 12.6 million checking accounts, savings, mortgages and credit card accounts in the deal. It expects to achieve cost savings of $2 billion from the deal from investing in Washington Mutual, including the technology the bank uses.
The annual report stated a continued strategy of "reinvest in technology solutions to make it easier for clients to move, concentrate, invest and manage their cash worldwide".
In March 2009 reports from India suggested that the bank was looking to increase its use of outsourcing by 25 per cent as it looked for a partner to take on the integration of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.