JPMorgan Chase has made a $1.5m (£1.2m) philanthropic pledge to help low-income and underserved people in the UK access affordable loans, the banking giant said in a statement. Press release Thursday (March 17).
The company says its commitment will help the non-profit organization Fair4All Finance expand its interest-free loan pilot program to a sixth region of the country, helping 3,000 people. The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and “provides a vital financial cushion to people who cannot access or afford existing forms of credit, but who can afford to repay smaller amounts”, the statement said. .
Additionally, the investment will help Fair4All Finance launch a financial coaching program for select loan plan clients, helping them keep their payments on track and helping them build credit.
According to the press release, there were nearly 14 million low-income people in the UK when the pandemic started, and COVID has only made matters worse for people who would be vulnerable to financial dislocation.
“Financial stability is a persistent challenge for many people, especially low-income families, and far too many people lack the financial resources to deal with an emergency,” said Stephanie Mestrallet, head of British philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase.
Last year, Fair4All Finance secured £3.8 million ($4.9 million) in funding from the UK Treasury, as well as up to £1 million ($1.3 million) in loan capital from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, matched in England by Fair4All Finance. Fair4All Finance will oversee the program, with support from Toynbee Hall and Fair By Design.
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