JP Morgan Chase & Co is preparing to double the minimum amount of investible assets it requires its US private banking clients to hold, to US$10m, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
The move was described by the WSJ – which cited as its source unidentified “people familiar with the matter” – as “one of the boldest yet among banks that are increasingly focused on managing the money of wealthy clients, who generate more fees and entail less risk than middle-class and lower-income customers”.
However, the article adds, because wealthy clients typically require more of bankers’ time and attention than less-well-off ones do, banks are having to become more discriminating about who they accept as private banking clients.
“The shift could affect about 10% of the private bank’s current clients,” the WSJ article noted, citing a recent JP Morgan presentation that showed roughly 90% of its clients had more than US$10m.
A spokesman for the US arm of JP Morgan said the bank had no comment to make on the report.
In recent months, the US private banking operation of JP Morgan has laid off more than 100 employees, including managing directors in New York, London, Washington and Boston, the WSJ article said, again citing as its source people familiar with the matter.
With respect to the reported job losses, the JP Morgan spokesman again said the bank declined to comment.
To read the article on the WSJ’s website, which has a paywall, click here.