JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s expansion into Greater Baltimore is progressing faster than projected after four years, and the banking behemoth has no plans to slow down.
Beginning in 2019, the nation’s largest retail bank set out on a five-year quest to open 70 branches in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. About 20 of them were supposed to be in Greater Baltimore. JPMorgan Chase’s mid-Atlantic region head, Peter Scher, said the bank is on schedule to accomplish that goal by the end of the year. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) of New York also said on Tuesday that it will invest $75 million in the Greater Washington region, including $20 million in Baltimore-area groups, to help close the racial wealth gap.
“As a bank, we see immense opportunity in this region, which is why we continue to invest and grow our business,” Scher said at an event to unveil the Baltimore investments at Kirby Lane Park. “We can clearly perceive the difficulties in this place… In health, education, and housing, we witness significant discrepancies and inequities.”
Such disparities, according to Scher, are not sustainable for the region or the United States as a whole. According to him, JPMorgan Chase’s success is dependent on the community’s and all inhabitants’ progress.
JPMorgan Chase will give $5 million over three years to an organization called Prioritizing Our Women’s Economic Rise, or POWER, to execute wealth-building programs for Black and Latina women real estate developers in West Baltimore. The Latino Economic Development Center, the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Community Engagement Center, Black Women Build Baltimore, Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades, Byte Back, and Baltimore Community Lending are among the organizations involved in the cooperation.
JPMorgan Chase also pledged $2 million over three years to Parity Homes, an organization dedicated to expanding homeownership in West Baltimore and assisting Black families in building wealth.
Bree Jones, who started Parity Homes in 2018, said the JPMorgan Chase money will be “absolutely catalytic” for her company, allowing her to hire four more people to meet rising demand for homes. The grant will also assist Parity in achieving its objective of 200 new Black and Latina house owners in West Baltimore by expanding the pipeline of Baltimoreans trained to work in the construction industry.
Jones expressed her hope that more firms will follow JPMorgan Chase’s lead and make significant financial commitments to groups seeking to eliminate racial disparity.
“This is a game-changer for us,” Jones said, “but it’s still a fraction of the investment required to match the enormity of the problem generated by systematic racism.” “Allow this to serve as a clear rallying cry for other significant financial firms, such as JPMorgan Chase, to deploy catalytic money. The future of Baltimore is there in front of us. Baltimore’s most valuable districts must be revitalized, and the Black Butterfly must be restored, if the city is to be healthy.”
JPMorgan Chase, for its part, is only getting started, according to Scher. In the coming months, JPMorgan Chase hopes to announce more grant recipients.
“The fact that we’re investing this much in these community groups says a lot about where we envision the city going in the future. There is a lot of hope for the future. We’re not underestimating the problems, but for the first time in a long time, we believe the city is truly coming together in a collaborative manner “he stated
JPMorgan Chase will also open new branches, including a “community center branch” in West Baltimore, according to Scher. The bank has applied to open a branch in Mondawmin Mall, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. He declined to reveal the exact site.
According to Scher, community center branches are larger than typical ones and offer more than just individual consumer interactions. They provide financial wellness workshops as well as consultations for small businesses.
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, Scher said the 11 Chase branches that have opened so far in Greater Baltimore have functioned “very well.” According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the bank’s ten locations in the region had $153.5 million in deposits as of June 30.
Chase has chosen its locations carefully, placing them in new, developing areas. Its Cherry Hill location was the first in the majority-Black South Baltimore neighborhood.
“We put a lot of data into where we’re doing branches and we set our expectations,” Scher said, “but I don’t think we could be happier.” “We know that certain branches will perform better than others, but we must also consider what they contribute to their communities. These branches, in many ways, are the anchors of development, and we couldn’t be happier with how well they’re doing.”