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JPMorgan Chase Adds Branches, as Rivals Close

JPMorgan Chase is taking a different tack than a major rival, with plans to expand its branch network in coming years.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report

is taking a different tack than a major rival, with plans to expand its branch network in coming years.

While

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

may close up to 10%

trim 10% of its locations, JPMorgan plans to add over 100 locations each year in key markets where there are growth opportunities. The firm added thousands of branches with its acquisition of

Washington Mutual

last year.

Since then, spokesman Michael Fusco says the bank has only shuttered locations where there was an overlap, and plans to broaden its footprint in strategic locales.

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For instance, JPMorgan on Monday announced the conversion of 223 WaMu branches into Chase locations in the Tri-State area surrounding New York City. It boasts 3,150 ATMs, including those in ubiquitous Duane Reade pharmacies across the city. A local advertising campaign promotes Chase as a bank that is expanding to better serve customers.

"We plan to keep expanding by adding another 125 branches a year" across the country, Fusco said.

Chase had almost 4,200 fully converted branches in the U.S. at July 31, after linking 694 former WaMu branches to the Chase network in Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and Illinois.

BofA is emphasizing its automated platforms, such as mobile banking and ATMs, saying that customers have been using those options ever more frequently.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report

will not disclose details about plans for

Wachovia

branches, but has been slower than JPMorgan in the conversion process, while selling some locations in small deals.

Citigroup's

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

plans are less clear. While the bank is striving to return to its core deposit-and-loan business, it appears to be working through its issues with bad loans and selling off non-core assets before it expands.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York

.