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It can be said that Chase is an American institution. Chase's history can be dated back to America's infancy and includes enough drama for several History Channel specials. The spawn of one of America's greatest rivalries, Chase has come a long way and now sets on the precipice of continued dominance in the banking market.
Rivalry Spawns History
Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?? Everyone knows the answer to that question by now. It's Aaron Burr. Another fun trivia fact: Burr also founded what is now Chase Bank. Chase considers its start with the founding of The Manhattan Company. Alexander Hamilton would organize the first federal bank, the Bank of New York, which would charter in 1794 and would monopolize the banking industry in the city. Burr fought and won for more banking charters and with it, the birth of The Manhattan Company. Burr would go on to kill Hamilton on July 11, 1804, but it had nothing to do with this. Burr would also be responsible for the 12th Amendment, which dictates how we elect our President and Vice President. Needless to say, Burr is a pretty central figure of early American history and the famous Burr-Hamilton rivalry expanded far beyond the political roundtable, it ventured into business as well.
The Manhattan Bank would merge with Chase National bank in 1955. Chase National Bank was formed in 1877 by John Thompson. Named after Salmon P. Chase, who had no affiliation with the bank, Chase National Bank would grow and expand. By the 1920's, it would acquire over 20 smaller banks including the Equitable Trust Company of New York in 1930 from John D. Rockafeller Jr. which would make it the largest bank in the world.
In December of 2000, Chase would once again merge with a financial power J.P. Morgan & Co. in what was the largest banking mergers recorded. Since 1996, Chase and soon after J.P. Morgan & Co. would buy and merge with several banks including Chemical Bank in 1996, Bank One – a conglomerate of mergers and buyouts of banks in of itself – in 2004, Bear Stearns & Co and Washington Mutual in 2009.
Chase would continue growth. As of 2008, over 5,400 branches in 23 states and is the third largest bank in the country by branches behind Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Currently, Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. He comes over from Bank One after the purchase in 2006. He was a board member on the New York Federal Reserve Bank and became CEO of JP Morgan Chase in 2008. However, by 2012, Chase is reporting $2 billion in losses due to trades that were said to attempt to hedge the bank's overall credit risks. He would also accept $25 billion in government bailouts from the TARP. Under Dimon, Chase would become the number one credit card provider in the United States. Currently, Chase offers 30 credit cards. Some of them are considered the best on the market, like the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.