JPMorgan Chase has executed almost 150,000 concurrent virtual sessions in the past few weeks which, according to CEO Jamie Dimon, is nearly five times the usual number of such sessions as before the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are ensuring [employees] continue to operate at the highest standards with the proper technological tools and access so they can serve their clients safely and seamlessly,” Dimon said in the bank’s letter to shareholders released today. “We have capacity in reserve to support significantly more demand if necessary.”
The volume spike for virtual sessions comes after Chase’s announcement last month that it is temporarily closing 20% of its branches during the pandemic. As consumers stay at home to follow social distancing guidelines, banks are increasingly pushing digital channels to engage customers.
Dimon said some of the bank’s most affected clients are small businesses, noting that research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute shows that 50% of small businesses have fewer than 15 days of cash buffer on hand. According to Dimon, the bank has extended $950 million in new loans to small businesses in the past 60 days. He said the bank is also waiving fees for businesses in need and is working with clients to find other relevant assistance programs.
The letter predicted an upcoming recession “with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008.”
“Our bank cannot be immune to the effects of this kind of stress,” Dimon said.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Bank Innovation, a sister site of Auto Finance News.