July 17, 2009

JPMorgan Chase eyes CIT Group

A JPMorgan Chase spokesman said the bank was keeping an eye on the fate of CIT Group, the struggling New York lender, as a possibility for expansion.

It would be an opportunity for us in these states if CIT was unable to continue lending to borrowers, spokesman Tom Kelly told The New York Times Friday.

JP Morgan, along with Goldman Sachs, is now sitting at the top of the heap of financial firms, having posted a profit of $2.7 billion in the second quarter, the Times said.

The bank has been opportunistic throughout the financial crisis, taking over Bear Stearns at garage sale prices when the New York investment firm collapsed last fall and following that up with a purchase of retail bank Washington Mutual.

JPMorgan now ranks first in the world in equity and in debt capital markets, Dealogic reported.

The bank has repaid the government bailout funds it received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Currently, it is working on a plan to allow the U.S. Treasury Department to auction JPMorgan warrants the government bought, which would free the firm from its ties to taxpayer bailouts.