- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Monday it has no plans to purchase new jets or renovate an aircraft hangar until after it has paid off money it received as part of the government’s bank investment program last fall.

JPMorgan disclosed the plans amid published reports that it was moving ahead with plans to buy new jets and renovate a hangar where it houses its fleet.

JPMorgan was one of hundreds of banks that received money last fall as part of the government’s plan, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to bolster bank’s balance sheets. The New York-based bank, considered one of the strongest banks amid the ongoing credit crisis, received $25 billion as part of the program.

A spokesman for JPMorgan noted that once the government is repaid for its investment, the bank could purchase new jets to replace ones in its existing fleet and would not increase the size of the overall fleet. No improvements to the hangar housing its fleet would occur until after the government money is repaid as well, the spokesman said.

In recent months politicians have increased scrutiny and voiced their displeasure about spending by financial firms that received government funds. In January, Citigroup Inc., which has been among the hardest hit banks by the credit crisis, canceled plans to take delivery of a corporate jet. New York-based Citi put a deposit on that plane in 2005 before the credit crunch and recession began.

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