JPMorgan Chase & Co. opened Thursday in Chapel Hill the first of an expected 40 branches in North Carolina over the next three years. The branch is at 133 W. Franklin St.

JPMorgan, one of the four national banks, said it will focus its initial branch push in the Triangle and Charlotte. It has a commercial banking office in Greensboro that serves mid- to large-sized businesses.

“It is too early to say other markets that are under consideration for branch expansion,” JPMorgan Chase said in a statement.

The bank said the 40 branches would have a combined workforce of more than 250 employees. There are plans for at least 80 ATMs.

This expansion adds retail and business banking to markets where the bank already serves thousands of consumers and local businesses, including clients through its Commercial Bank, Private Bank and Investment Bank. It currently has more than 200 employees in North Carolina.

JPMorgan is making its N.C. branch entrance as fellow national banks Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. have slowed expansion and BB&T Corp. is preparing to buy SunTrust Banks Inc. for $29.7 billion.

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