The whispers of even the possibility of negative global interest rates (the infamous "NIRP") has sent a shiver down the spines of bank investors over the past month. JP Morgan is continuing to invest in technology such as blockchain to help stimulate new growth and profitability given the challenging macro environment for financial institutions. Over recent months, the bank has been testing blockchain technology to help move U.S. dollars for clients from London to Japan to give faster clearing and settlement times and help reduce risk.
The move is one of several the bank plans to detail Tuesday at its annual daylong presentation to investors. Chairman and Chief Executive James Dimon and his lieutenants will also outline plans to rejigger the bank's budget to allocate more money to application development and financial-technology partnerships, while boosting cybersecurity spending by 20%. J.P. Morgan and other big banks are dealing with growing threats from online lenders and payment systems, including some that use blockchain or bitcoin. Technology represents a rare instance where the bank is increasing spending. J.P. Morgan is more broadly cutting costs, shedding staff and shrinking assets to adjust to an environment of leaner profit margins and tougher regulation.