JPMorgan Chase & Co. wants to become a bank player in Southwest Florida.
It’s adding six branches in Collier and Lee counties this year, with plans for another two.
“It was tough having one. It’s great that they expanded and gave more of a variety of locations,” said Amy Ridinger, Bonita Springs resident and co-owner of Greenway Landscape Supply in Estero.
Chase is aggressively making plans for Florida, Chase spokeswoman Nancy Norris said. California is the only other state where it is working aggressively to expand.
“We think we can compete effectively and believe there is room to grow,” Norris said.
Chase is opening more branches because it wants to accommodate current customers and draw in more business. Chase believes its commitment to hiring bankers and managers who listen to customers’ needs and build relationships is what makes it a great bank.
“They are probably the most personable people that I have ever known in the banking industry,” Ridinger said.
Ridinger started banking with Chase 10 years ago in Highland Heights, Ohio. When she and her husband, Jim Ridinger, moved to Naples in 2003 it was easy for them to bank in both states, she said. “We wouldn’t have put personal and business and everything at Chase, but being it was such a great experience we wanted to give them all of our business,” she said.
Nationally, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA is third after Bank of America NA and Wells Fargo Bank NA in “total domestic deposits,” according to a June 30, 2010, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. report. In Collier and Lee counties, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA is 22nd, with $180,078 in deposits or 0.79 percent of the market share, according to a 2010 FDIC report.
“In almost every state where we operate we are the No. 1 or No. 2 in that state. That is our goal in Florida,” Norris said.
JPMorgan Chase Bank NA is sixth in deposits in Florida, according to the 2010 FDIC report.
Chase’s competitor, Wells Fargo, recently converted all Wachovia branches, making its brand name more visible.
“We generally don’t comment about the competition, other than competition is good for the consumer and we believe we have the best bank in town,” Norris said.
Chase showed interest in Florida when it converted 200 Washington Mutual branches to Chase branches in 2009. Chase has a total of 280 branches in Florida, but doesn’t believe that is enough, Norris said.
Chase plans to add another 375 to 500 branches in Florida in the next three to five years, Norris said.
Locally there is one branch in Collier and a new branch scheduled to open in November at 2448 Pine Ridge Road, Norris said.
Developer and hotelier Phil McCabe said he is building a 38,000-square-foot building on Fifth Avenue South and Park Street in Naples, in which a Chase branch is planned to be the anchor business. McCabe was also told Chase might have a wealth management office in the building. He will start building in two months, he said.
Claudine Leger-Wetzel, vice president of sales and marketing for Stock Development, said JPMorgan Chase purchased one acre of land and she believes their intention is to open a branch. The land is on Lely Resort’s property, where Triangle Boulevard meets U.S. 41 East.
Norris said it was too soon to confirm these two locations, but “we do plan to open several more branches in the Naples area in 2012 and 2013,” Norris said.
Lee County has four Chase branches. Two opened recently; one is at 21331 S. U.S. 41 in Estero and the other is at 1624 Cape Coral Parkway W. in Cape Coral. Three more branches are scheduled to open this year, Norris said. In November, one will open at 9100 College Parkway and another at 1499 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Another branch will open at 6870 Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers in December.
Chase prides itself on providing convenience. There are 20 automated teller machines in Collier County and 30 in Lee County, mostly in Walgreens stores. Each of the new branches will have a drive-through, said Norris. Chase has also been a leader in online and mobile banking, she said.
“We were the first to come out with Chase QuickPay,” Norris said.
Chase QuickPay is an online service that allows someone to send and receive money from anyone who is enrolled in the program, has a U.S. bank account and an email address. QuickDeposit lets a person deposit a check, by photographing the front and back of their check with their iPhone or iPod touch.
Chase has found that while customers want the latest technology they still want a knowledgeable branch. Southwest Florida branches will be staffed with 10 to 12 employees.
Everyone has different goals depending on where they are in their life, Norris said.
“It’s not about you walking in and we’re just trying to sell you a loan or a credit card. It’s about relationships,” Norris said.