FARGO, N.D. • Chase Bank, a JPMorgan Chase company headquartered in New York, has entered the Dakotas market with new branches in Fargo and Sioux Falls.
In August the company opened a branch in Fargo, with a second planned to open in October. A third is on track for a December opening, also in Fargo.
The same day it opened its first branch in Fargo it opened its first branch in Sioux Falls, S.D., with more planned there as well, completing branches in all of the lower 48 states, said Market Director Andy Gahan.
Each Chase branch is roughly 3,200 square feet, includes 24-hour drive-thru ATMs, and offers full-service banking and financial guidance. He said the entry into the Dakotas market was by customer demand, a positive approach for any business to have.
Gahan said the branches in Fargo may be the first to open in North Dakota, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the last. More likely will be planned down the line.
“We're always looking at and researching areas,” he said. “We do have a customer presence throughout the state, but we're going to start with these three and get more information on where our customers are at, where they're calling from, and where we can best service our customers as we grow. … I think we're going to learn a lot about where those next sites should be as we grow here in North Dakota.”
He said as the company’s presence deepens in the state and region, it opens opportunities to grow relationships with local hospitals and universities.
“We're gathering a lot of information and learning as much as we can about the most important markets,” he said. “These first three branches will give us a lot of insight as to where the demand is and where people need our advice.”
Gahan said the same strategy will be used in South Dakota.
Besides traditional banking and drive-up ATMS, the branches each offer financial advice, which, according to Gahan, comes in all types of inquiries from customers. Some want to know how they might grow their capital, others seek help on how to leverage their savings.
No worries, he said. Anyone can come into a Chase branch and get the financial advice they seek. What’s more, they can do it more privately than perhaps they could at other banking institutions, because the new branches have private offices instead of cubicles for its financial advisors. He said it was another request the company listened to from its customers.
The buildings are “very modern,” Gahan said. “What stands out in my mind is, (they each) have the look and the feel of a modern piece of architecture, not necessarily of a bank. We've gotten a lot of feedback from our clients, and I think what really stands out is the use of private offices. Our customers were expecting cubicles to be everywhere, but they all have private offices in our branches. And I think, just the nature of our business, people do prefer that office setting versus the cubicle setting. It's much different than maybe what our classic thoughts are of a branch.”
Gahan said he is excited to have branches in the Dakotas. The reception and hospitality from customers has been encouraging.
When the first branches opened the same day in August in Fargo and Sioux Falls, company Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon visited the ribbon cuttings.
According to Gahan, Dimon assured the attendees that as the last two mainland states to welcome branches of the bank, he was “saving the best for last.”