By Scott Murdoch
Nov 24 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said on Wednesday he regretted his comments that the Wall Street bank would outlast the Communist Party of China.
“I regret it and shouldn’t have made that comment. I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company,” Dimon said in a statement issued by the bank.
Speaking in a series of Boston College interviews with CEOs on Tuesday, Dimon said: “I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its centennial and so is JPMorgan. I would bet we last longer.”
“I can’t say that in China. They’re probably listening anyway,” he added.
A JPMorgan spokesman added that Dimon had acknowledged that “he should never speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leaders.”
“During the discussion Jamie made it clear that China and its people are very smart and very thoughtful.”
Saying he regretted the comments comes a week after Dimon received an exemption from the Hong Kong government to visit the Chinese-controlled financial center without going through quarantine.
Visitors to the city from most countries must be quarantined in a hotel for two to three weeks at their own expense.
Dimon was in Hong Kong for 32 hours after arriving on a private plane.
JPMorgan has big ambitions in China and in August it obtained regulatory approval from Beijing to become the first foreign owner of a brokerage firm in the country.
(Report by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; additional report by David Henry; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)