JPMorgan to expand in Greece with new office, payments team

U.S. bank JPMorgan (JPM.N) said on Friday it will open a new office in Athens to support the growth of its business in the country.

The office will house a new Payments Innovation Lab for which the firm will hire around a 50-strong payments research and development team locally – including product and engineering specialists.

JPMorgan’s employees already based in Athens, who work across its corporate, investment banking and asset and wealth management businesses, will also move to the new office.

“The firm is in active discussions around securing suitable real estate to accommodate this exciting expansion in the country,” the bank said in a statement.

The Payments Innovation Lab will provide research and development to the bank’s global payments business, including working with Onyx, JP Morgan’s business unit that leverages cutting-edge technologies like blockchain.

The lab will focus on supporting the development of ledger technology, artificial intelligence and cryptography related to payments systems.

“We want to stay at the apex of payments innovation, and our new location in Athens will be a key nerve centre for our cutting edge payments innovation work,” said Takis Georgakopoulos, Global Head of JPMorgan Payments.

Recruitment for the Payments Innovation Lab will begin immediately, including for a head of the division.

“Our investment in a new office and local, highly skilled talent is a testament to JPMorgan’s long-term commitment to Greece,” said Stelios Papadopoulos, the bank’s senior country officer.

JPMorgan’s presence in Greece dates back to 1968, when it opened offices in Piraeus and Athens.