February 26, 2024


Epicurean computer & technology

Jamie Dimon’s Annual Letter To JPMorgan Chase Shareholders Talks Technology



In JPMorgan Chase’s current earnings get in touch with, the $3.76 trillion (in assets) lender declared it strategies to increase its yearly technology price range to $12 billion, 26% extra than it used in 2020. According to Tearsheet:

“Analysts experienced a tricky time accepting the large maximize in tech spending. The elevated tech spending plan pushes whole envisioned cost expansion to 8%, which could induce the organization to overlook profitability targets this yr and potentially in 2023.”

Responding to calls for estimates of the return on the bank’s know-how investments, CEO Jamie Dimon stated:

“A lot of you want payback tomorrow and things like that. We’ll not disclose those people quantities, but we are there for the lengthy operate. We’re heading to insert products and solutions and products and services and nations for the relaxation of our life. So I doubt, in excess of the extensive operate, we’ll are unsuccessful.”

Dimon might have claimed that Chase won’t disclose the payback numbers but his new letter to stockholders in the bank’s 2021 yearly report offers insights into in which the $12 billion technologies investment is going—and what he expects to get again from it.

Down below are estimates from the letter and the Fintech Snark Tank’s take on them.

Technological know-how Infrastructure

“Some of these investments [in technology] simply need to be done to maintain the company’s health. Investments in this bucket assistance maintain the ship in idea-best condition and contact a broad vary of office requires: regulatory specifications and required improvements for cybersecurity, as perfectly as operational resiliency and security. Some things we have finished with no immediate earnings benefit, fairly only to preserve our competitive placement. I connect with these table stakes—think of electronic account opening for consumer and little business accounts.”

Fintech Snark Tank acquire: As Dimon notes, infrastructure investments typically have no immediate revenue profit. Far more critical, on the other hand, is that these investments ordinarily don’t have a cost reduction advantage, either.

This is wherever lots of banking institutions waste their time and deceive themselves—they have to have IT to prepare ROI analyses for infrastructure investments with charge reduction estimates that nearly never come to fruition.

This is specially true with digital account opening, which Dimon refers to as “table stakes.” Quite a few banks nevertheless operate under the delusion that delivering electronic account opening will drastically (or at minimum, meaningfully) raise account volume. It doesn’t. Thanks for calling this out, Mr. Dimon.

Servicing & Improvement

“Other investments are specific enhancements to merchandise and services, normally with identifiable gains. Virtually all of the $2 billion in bills are analyzed and examined for their ROI or other sizeable advantages. Often individuals refer to these charges as modernizing or adopting new technologies. The phrase indicates that after you get to a modern day system, these bills should considerably decrease—which is seldom the situation. In truth, when we examine these expenses, we integrate not only the price tag to create the solution or support but also the cost to retain it going ahead.”

Fintech Snark Tank just take: I generally speculate how quite a few lender CFOs nonetheless really do not grasp this thought, that the advancement of new devices and programs demands ongoing servicing which benefits in added costs for IT.

But what Dimon dances all over in this article is that investments in modern day platforms must dramatically reduce expenses—in the departments and lines of business that the platforms effects, not in IT.

Cloud-Based mostly Techniques

“On the route to new and modern day infrastructure, cloud-dependent units will in the long run be a lot quicker, much less expensive, far more flexible and also AI-enabled. We have put in $2.2 billion making new, cloud-primarily based data facilities. Our full expensed value of facts centers is better than in previous several years since of the duplicative cost that is produced as we operate both of those the new and older centers.

Hundreds of purposes (and their linked databases) are being replatformed and refactored to run in the personal and community cloud atmosphere. We migrated our card mainframe to the new info center and are presently seeing about 20% faster reaction occasions for our big customer-going through applications. This one particular software will use only 1.5% of the capacity of our new knowledge facilities: Of our far more than 5,000 applications that will however be in use in two yrs, 40% will have been replatformed.”

Fintech Snark Tank acquire: Much more excellent detail about where the $12 billion in tech is going—and the profit it is developing. Nearly as an afterthought, Dimon stated that the investments in the cloud contain points like “modernizing developer applications and embedding operational resiliency and cybersecurity controls.” Dimon is underplaying the influence here—resiliency is terrific, but improved speed and agility is the actual benefit.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Blockchain

“Decentralized finance and blockchain are genuine, new technologies that can be deployed in both public and private style, permissioned or not. We use a blockchain community known as Liink to empower banks to share complex facts, and we also use a blockchain to shift tokenized US dollar deposits with JPM Coin. We consider there are many makes use of exactly where a blockchain can replace or strengthen contracts, knowledge possession and other enhancements for some needs, nevertheless, it is at present too pricey or as well slow to be deployed.”

Fintech Snark Tank get: The press is likely to have a subject day with Dimon’s quote that “DeFi and blockchain are real” right after his comment “I don’t care about bitcoin. I have no interest in it.” The challenge, of study course, is that that assertion does not conflict with his yearly report statement.

Embedded Banking

“We continue to provide to the marketplace and commercialize impressive goods, these kinds of as embedded banking AI-driven fraud controls and forecasting and account validation and programmable payments on JPM Coin.”

Fintech Snark Tank consider: This offhand mention of embedded banking required additional rationalization. Does Chase system to provide a banking as a provider (BaaS) featuring to fintechs and non-economical brands?

While conventional knowledge retains that Durbin-secured financial institutions are the most effective candidates to be lover banking institutions due to the fact of interchange profits sharing agreements, I have under no circumstances thought that will maintain out more substantial banking companies like Chase.

Offering to consider a reduced share of interchange is just a business design selection for the bigger banks, and the chance to diversify profits streams will demonstrate to be just as eye-catching to massive banks as it is to smaller sized institutions. This really should be really desirable to quite a few banks as the price tag of customer acquisition is noticeably minimized due to the fact the bank’s companion is, correctly, having to pay the acquisition prices.


“We have formulated about 1,000 software programming interfaces that give a variety of sorts of consumers accessibility to our units in a controlled way, allowing them to automate our banking devices into their company devices.”

Fintech Snark Tank acquire: It could possibly have been also a great deal depth for the once-a-year report, but it would be attention-grabbing to know what percentage of these APIs are personal APIs vs . all those that are partner or open up APIs.

Private APIs are predominantly for inside integration—i.e., cost containment and productiveness enhancement purposes—while the growth of associate and open up APIs could give some perception into Chase’s future merchandise and support designs.

Synthetic Intelligence (AI)

“We are investing extra money (think hundreds of thousands and thousands of dollars) just about every 12 months on AI. For case in point, we use AI to produce insights on current and possible purchasers from general public details, these types of as KYC protocols, regulatory filings, social media, information, general public websites and files. The moment standardized, the information is then applied to a number of uses, such as building qualified prospects, determining organizations and investors, onboarding shoppers, and detecting ESG themes. In all of these scenarios, there are identifiable returns thanks to reduced prospecting costs or enhanced expert services.”

Fintech Snark Tank just take: It’s appealing that, even though a great deal of the marketplace talks about the future probable for AI to present far better tips to retail buyers, Dimon’s illustrations of AI deployment in Chase are a lot more industrial-concentrated.

Addressing the Tech Paying out Critics

Critics attacked Dimon for not remaining more transparent about the place Chase’s $12 billion tech expenditure is going—and what it will get from it. Dimon’s letter to Chase shareholders addresses these critiques head on. As Dimon wrote:

“While we measure just about every of these incremental investments (and there are hundreds of them) as diligently as we can, you can assess the general effects by asking the next queries:

  • Do we retain the competitiveness of our goods?
  • Are we gaining market place share?
  • Do we have genuine wins against some difficult competitors, both equally in the banking environment and in fintech corporations?
  • What are our consumer fulfillment scores?
  • Have we built new solutions that may perhaps not make profits but evidently have enhanced our business?
  • How are our solutions serving our clients’ demands to accessibility our methods how and when they want?

Ultimately, also consider: Is the lender sustaining its in general competitive posture, rising at tempo and even now keeping a very healthy return on tangible widespread fairness although investing for the upcoming?”

Fintech Snark Tank choose: Each and every financial institution CEO should be contemplating about technology the way Dimon does. As it is each individual yr, Dimon’s letter to shareholder is a ought to go through. I do want he had talked about bitcoin and cryptocurrency, even though.


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