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Bank One

From Academic Kids

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Bank One, based in Chicago, Illinois, was the sixth-largest bank in the United States. It traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol ONE. The company was acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase on July 1, 2004.

The bank traces its roots to First Bancgroup of Ohio, founded as a holding company for City National Bank of Columbus, Ohio and several other banks in that state, all of which were renamed "Bank One" when the holding company was renamed Banc One Corporation. With the beginning of interstate banking they spread into other states, always renaming acquired banks "Bank One", though for a long time they resisted combining them into one bank. Eventually Banc One Corporation merged with Chicago-based First Chicago NBD Corporation to form Bank One Corporation, and headquarters moved from Columbus to Chicago. Adverse financial results led to the departure of CEO John B. McCoy, whose father and grandfather had headed Banc One and predecessors, and Jamie Dimon, a former key executive of Citigroup, was brought in to head the company.

Bank One, through its First USA subsidiary, is the world's largest issuer of the Visa card.

First USA was renamed Bank One Card Services in late 2002.

2004 Merger controversy

On January 15, 2004, the company announced that it was being acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase in a $58 billion merger. This merger was announced a few months after the proposed merger of Bank of America and FleetBoston banks.

This awoke concerns about too much consolidation of the banking industry. Chicago critics who worried about the headquarters moving to New York City feared less local charitable giving, higher fees, and less small business lending.

Mega-bank critics contend that, for example in Texas, the fact that one in five dollars put into a bank would be held inside the combined JP Morgan Chase-Bank One creates a potentially dangerous situation for regulators, and can create an oligopoly.

The banks contend that they are not banks at all anymore since the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but rather financial services companies, that the "1 in 5" figure does not include deposits at credit unions, and brokerages; that there are only around 350 branches of the combined company out of a total of 5100 different branches in the state, that deposit market share is a meaningless figure since more money is in non bank deposits such as mutual funds, and that their market share in Texas in financial services would be more along the order of 3 percent. Financial Services companies also contend that the industry is one of the most non consolidated, with the market leader only having a 5 percent financial services market share, compared to market leaders like Home Depot, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, all with around 30 percent market shares.

The merger was also controversial when it was revealed that Bank One CEO Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan CEO William Harrison had a discussion which Dimon said that he would sell his company for cheaper if he could immediately become CEO, which Harrison rejected. This is seen as a bad thing on both sides: Dimon had the responsibility to the shareholders (the owners of Bank One), to sell Bank One for the highest price regardless of his future job prospects (in fact most CEOs have golden parachutes i.e., clauses in their contract saying that if they are fired upon a merger they get money so that they aren't supposed to care about their future job prospects). Harrison is also seen at fault because his responsibility is to pay the lowest price, regardless of his job prospects. No legal proceedings have resulted from the revelation of this information.

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