Inside sources at Chase and Flemings confirm that friendly talks are underway and that due diligence has already started.

Given that extensive due diligence was completed on the Flemings group a year and a half ago when Flemings bought out Jardine's stake in the Asian business, the process should be quicker than most other bank mergers.

There are few overlapping operations between Chase and Flemings, so there will not be protracted negotiations between the two sides as to which bankers stay and which get the chop. Furthermore, with no competition issues, the deal will not get wrapped up in any US anti-trust investigations or EU competition debacles unlike other such mergers.