JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon may still be in the running to become US Treasury secretary, Fox Business Network reporters said on Wednesday, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the nation’s largest bank. After Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo tweeted that Dimon “will get” the position, her colleague Charles Gasparino tweeted that Dimon does not want the job but would be willing to play an advisory role.
Bartiromo later said that Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc partner who was campaign finance manager for President-elect Donald Trump, is also a contender and that a decision will be made at a meeting on Thursday.
A Trump transition team source told Reuters that Dimon is “pitching hard” for the Treasury role. Another source said Dimon was not interested in the job. Both spoke on condition of anonymity. JPMorgan’s shares closed down 2.5 percent at $77.40 on heavy volume.
The question of whether Dimon would leave the bank to become Treasury secretary first arose on Nov. 10, when news broke that a member of Trump’s transition team had reached out to Dimon to gauge his interest in the role.
Although Dimon has said repeatedly and publicly that he would not want the job, it is rare to say “no” to a president-elect’s request to join his cabinet. Doing so would also put Dimon and JPMorgan in an awkward position, because the bank would then be regulated by an administration Dimon rejected.
But if Dimon were to take the job, it is not clear who would replace him as CEO. Several senior executives’ names have been floated in the past as potential successors, including Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames and heads of business units such as Gordon Smith, Douglas Petno and Daniel Pinto, but none has been identified by the bank or insiders as being the clear choice to take over as CEO.
Separately, on Wednesday a source told Reuters that JPMorgan would pay about $200 million combined to settle probes by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission into hiring in China.