By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
JPMorgan Chase, joined by Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City officials, on Tuesday celebrated the groundbreaking of the firm’s newest community branch, which is set to open this fall, at Mondawmin Mall.
The new community branch is a part of JPMorgan Chase’s latest efforts for Mid-Atlantic expansion, which will yield 140 branches by 2025 throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia with 30 percent of the branches opening in low- to moderate-income communities, like Cherry Hill and West Baltimore.
“We’re committed to being the bank for all, and to be the bank for all, you need to be in the communities you’re serving. For us, it starts with understanding what the community needs,” said Raquel Oden, head of Chase network expansion. “We do a lot of listening and work in partnership with community leaders to identify how to best serve our communities. We’re hiring locally so when we talk about entering a new market, we’re talking about serving our own neighbors or own communities.”
The community branch format was created as a part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30-billion commitment to close the racial wealth divide and propel economic inclusion among Black, Hispanic and Latinx communities.
Unlike the firm’s traditional branches, community branches are locally-inspired and have additional space for financial health workshops and skills training. They also provide a storefront for local, small businesses interested in hosting pop-ups.
Each community branch includes a full-time community manager who helps residents discover a better financial future by extending home-buying workshops, financial literacy training, business mentorship and fintech solutions.
At the branch, customers, residents and nonprofit organizations will have access to free Wi-Fi and the community space.
This is not the first JPMorgan Chase community branch to come to the DMV area. Last summer, the Skyland Community Center branch opened to serve residents and small businesses in D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8.
According to Oden, people frequently lose out on financial tools and resources simply because they are not aware of them. JPMorgan Chase’s community branches exist to ensure communities can take full advantage of the firm’s capabilities and offerings.
“By opening branches in communities that are struggling from disinvestment, we’re sending an important signal to our neighbors— you matter, and we’re here to serve you,” said Oden.
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