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JPMorgan to hire more than 500 small-business bankers over 2 years

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A JPMorgan logo is seen in New York City

By Lananh Nguyen

MIAMI (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, the largest U.S. lender, plans to hire more than 500 bankers catering to small businesses through 2024, the company said on Wednesday.

The new recruits will boost the bank's workforce serving small enterprises by 20% from more than 2,300 currently.

"Small business owners are facing difficult challenges with persistent inflation, supply chain disruptions, and expense pressure," Ben Walter, JPMorgan's chief executive officer of business banking, said in a statement. The added staffing signals the company's "intent to support them through the business cycle."

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A majority of small business owners surveyed by JPMorgan expect a recession this year but they also remain optimistic, with two-thirds seeing increased sales and 65% anticipating higher profits.

Wall Street giants, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley, have cut thousands of jobs as a worsening economic outlook depressed dealmaking, while mortgage lenders have also trimmed staff. The tech industry has followed suit, announcing tens of thousands of layoffs as a potential recession looms.

Still, major lenders are hiring in some areas. In September, JPMorgan's global chief information officer Lori Beer told Reuters the company planned to add about 2,000 engineers worldwide amid fierce competition for tech talent. More broadly, the bank's global headcount rose 8% to 293,723 last year.

(Reporting by Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Nick Zieminski)