With the goal of moving its middle market commercial banking practice to downtown Boise, JPMorgan Chase has renovated its Capitol Plaza branch to house three commercial bankers, as well as adding a private banking practice to the office.
“We consider this a refresh or remodel for the branch,” said Paul Silva, Chase market director of banking, who is responsible for all of Chase’s 20 branches in Idaho except two near Coeur d’Alene, which are covered by the Spokane market director.
At the Capitol Plaza branch, about 20 feet of the back side of the office has been separated out for the bank’s middle market commercial bank team, which has grown from two staffers to three.
“We’re very happy to have a permanent home,” said Gregory Smith, market executive for the middle market commercial practice. “We have proximity to a lot of folks in the professional services industry, we’re centrally located, and we stay close to our consumer relatives.”
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said he was pleased to see the group in a downtown Boise location. He said he hoped it would help with new business creation, which he said still hasn’t fully recovered from the 2007 recession.
Trent Wright, president and CEO of the Idaho Bankers Association, said Chase’s expansion puts “a spotlight on the white-hot economy that our state continues to enjoy.”
In addition to commercial banking, effective Feb. 1, the branch will start to provide Chase’s private client offering, and it has hired a private client advisor.
“Because of all the growth we’ve had, we’ve brought in the middle market banking team and added our private client,” Silva said. “When we have a private client branch, we typically do a refresh and spice it up.”
Private banking typically offers customers with complex financial lives a single point of contact to a preselected team of experts in various financial areas, including estate planning, trust planning and investment strategies, as well as banking services such as checking accounts. In addition, private bankers typically act as fiduciaries, meaning they are typically paid on salary, not on commission, and are required to act only in the client’s best interest. Fees for private banking are typically based on a percentage of the assets managed.
Chase shut down a branch in a Fred Meyer store on the East Boise Bench last year because there were two other branches within a mile, and hasn’t opened any new branches since then, but is continuing to look at constructing a new branch in the Boise and Meridian area.
“We’re looking at sites to be able to do that, but there’s nothing we’ve locked down,” Silva said.
In May 2018, he said that such a branch would likely be a new, stand-alone building that would be open by 2021 or 2022.
The company doesn’t reveal construction costs, and performs design and construction using in-house teams. Construction on the renovated downtown Boise branch started in the beginning of October and was completed Dec. 1, with the branch remaining open during the renovation process.
Chase first opened its middle market office in May in The Village at Meridian, after occupying temporary offices in the Banner Bank building in downtown Boise and in the Regus office in The Village.
Previously, customers in the middle market — which Chase defines as between $20 million and $500 million in top line revenues — were being served out of Salt Lake City. It was intended at that time that the middle market commercial banking office would move to downtown Boise in the first quarter of 2019.
JPMorgan Chase has 20 branches in Idaho and employs more than 150 people. The company announced a nationwide $20 billion, five-year expansion plan in January 2018.