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The Year Ahead

As Fintech Eats Into Profits, Big Banks Fight Back in Washington

Traditional finance and digital upstarts alike claim the other side has an unfair advantage.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

Photo: Bloomberg

Deep in Jamie Dimon’s 66-page letter to JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders last year lies a chart: 11 ways being a bank is costlier than being a fintech, from deposit insurance to higher capital and liquidity requirements. The longtime chief executive officer tallied tens of billions of dollars that he says such rules cost the bank over the past decade.

Dimon has for years griped about what he calls an unfair playing field. He isn’t alone: Big banks and the powerful lobbying groups representing them are readying a fight on multiple fronts, in what’s already shaping up as a definitive year for the rivalry between traditional banks and their tech competition.