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J.P. Morgan reached a peak this year, being ranked the number one bank by assets in the US by the National Information Center — and then, swiftly fell from grace. Just months after earning this honor, the bank’s tolerance for risk led to what its CEO, Jamie Dimon, called “significant losses” from a portfolio of credit investments. Initially thought to total USD $2 billion, these losses could reach over USD $7 billion. To make matters worse, J.P. Morgan recently revealed that its traders may have intentionally tried to hide the full extent of the historic losses. Federal regulators in the US are now looking into whether J.P. Morgan’s employees intended to defraud investors. The fallout from these events has severely undercut Mr. Dimon’s sterling reputation and credibility — and this would mean death for most brands. But J.P. Morgan is not most brands. In fact, the bank reported a second-quarter profit of $5 billion. While it continues to be resilient, the banking giant cannot afford to ignore its image. Creating a powerful brand is something J.P. Morgan has invested in for years. The bank recently hired Bank of America veteran, Claire Huang, as its new CMO and, for the time being, such investments in managing its brand seem to be paying off. J.P. Morgan continues to perform well with existing consumers and shareholders. However, if the firm hopes to retain the confidence and respect of potential clients and investors, it will need to instill and project a more trustworthy culture that better guards its legendary returns.
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Paying it Forward
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