Story at a glance

  • JPMorgan announces a new program to help Black and Latino Americans build wealth and have improved lending access.
  • This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted the socioeconomic inequalities rooted in racism in the U.S.

Days after announcing a major financial climate initiative, financial leader JPMorgan said it will commit $30 billion over the next five years that will be specifically allocated toward Black and Latino communities.

The funding, which follows Black Lives Matter protests’ calls for an end to racist socioeconomic redlining, aims to help communities of color financially recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recession induced by the coronavirus pandemic laid bare the persistent racial inequalities present in the U.S. due to its history with slavery.


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A recent report conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed that despite a slowly closing wealth gap, Black American families’ average wealth is still less than 15 percent of their white counterparts.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in prepared remarks. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

Some of the key pillars in JPMorgan’s commitment include improving access to homeownership for Black and Latino families — a key component of building wealth.

Refinancing options and other home lending initiatives will be the foundation to making homeownership more accessible, and the bank is allocating about $4 million in capital to fund this venture.

Helping Black- and Latino-owned businesses grow is another component of the initiative, with JPMorgan aiming to improve access to loans and other capital to help businesses survive the COVID-19 economic pinch.

A goal of 1 million new low-cost checking or saving accounts, in addition to financial mentorship to Black and Latino account holders. 

Diversifying the JPMorgan workforce is another component of the plan, which includes a new reporting system to hold executives driving these programs accountable for their outcomes.

JPMorgan is the latest large corporation to pledge to overhaul its business practices to make their financial products more accessible to historically underserved communities. 

The program is timely; the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black, Latino and Native American communities in the U.S., with each group more likely than white people to be hospitalized with a severe infection.

Black businesses have also been more likely to see closures and greater profit loss, largely driven by not having a banking partner that can help them get necessary funding.


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Published on Oct 08, 2020