JPMorgan looks abroad as it commits $500 million more to urban renewal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) will provide $500 million over five years to promote economic opportunities in selected cities, including some outside the United States, the bank said Wednesday.

A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

The program builds on urban renewal strategies that the bank funded in Detroit with $150 million starting in 2014. It has since taken the approaches to Chicago with $40 million and to Washington, D.C., with $25 million.

Half of the $500 million will be in philanthropic grants. The other half will provide low-cost, long-term development capital. The money will be used to teach job skills, finance small businesses of women and minority entrepreneurs, rebuild neighborhoods and to help families with their finances.

The funding comes as JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 62, has turned more of his attention to public policy and economic issues as chairman of the Business Roundtable.

“Businesses can and must step up to help change the status quo by creating a better future for all, no matter where they live,” Dimon said in a statement. “It is in our best interest and the right thing to do.”

JPMorgan, the biggest bank in the U.S. by assets, reported net income in 2017 of $24.4 billion.

The new program will make “large-scale investments” in targeted cities where the bank believes “conditions are right for success and broader, deeper investments are needed to drive inclusive growth,” the bank said.

By the end of the year, the bank plans to name a “global city” for its first targeted urban investment outside of the United States.

JPMorgan wants to do more business abroad and already spends some of its corporate social responsibility funds outside of the United States.

In the new program, the bank is also challenging cities to submit bids for financing that would “seed innovative solutions that help drive inclusive growth.” Previously, the bank did not have a formal process to evaluate requests from cities for money.

The bank looks for evidence of collaboration between public and private interests on renewal schemes in cities it supports.

Based on experience in other cities, the bank said it expects its $500 million will be matched by $1 billion of outside capital.

Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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