JPMorgan Chase is teaming up with two Black-owned banks for the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Agent Mentor-Protégé Program. The Harbor Bank of Maryland and Liberty Bank and Trust Co. will be mentored by JPMorgan to help the banks gain customers, create new business strategies, and accelerate growth within the company.
The partnership comes at a time when Black-owned banks are struggling to stay alive facing operational and regulatory costs that are common strains for small banks. There are currently only 19 Black-owned banks in major cities across the country. With JPMorgan’s help, Harbor Bank of Maryland and Liberty Bank will have the chance to strengthen their presence and help their respective Black communities.
Eva Robinson, Head of Treasury Services Public Sector Sales for North America, JPMorgan, said in a press release:
“We’re excited about the opportunity to help black-owned community banks expand their capabilities through this program. This initiative is consistent with our efforts to help consumers and entrepreneurs of color get better access to credit and working capital, and ultimately ignite wealth creation in low- and middle-income communities.”
JPMorgan Chase has announced a list of initiatives aimed at helping Black businesses and communities this year. The company is expanding its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund with $3.65 million in funding.
This is a part of its new Advancing Black Pathways initiative and pledge of $10 million to the Chicago Community Loan Fund to further small business development in Chicago’s South and West sides.
Advancing Black Pathways is set to offer education and job training, grow careers for African Americans within the company and develop partnerships to help create financial wellness in Black households.
“We applaud industry leaders for sharing Treasury’s commitment by working to enhance the capacity and expertise of these historic financial institutions that have provided banking services in their respective communities for generations,” Dr. Lorraine Cole, the director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, said in a news release.