CHICAGO, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Foundations of JPMorgan Chase and Bank One today announced a $400,000 grant to work with community development credit unions to create and expand alternatives to high-cost "payday" loans for consumers. The grant will enable the banks to work with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to identify member credit unions in Illinois, New York, Texas and two other states in a pilot program to help low-income consumers who need short-term loans to carry them over until their next paycheck. Currently, they have few choices beyond paying high fees and rates to check cashers and finance companies for loans as short as a week or two. "We want to help consumers keep more of their hard-earned money," said Lewis Jones, president of The J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation. "We are committed to finding workable alternatives and making them available for consumers." The grant was announced today at the convention of the National Community Tax Coalition, which helps working families work their way through the complicated earned-income tax credit to receive the valuable tax refunds they are due. The Bank One Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the Center for Economic Progress, which convenes the Tax Coalition convention. "Payday loan alternatives will help many of these same consumers get a better deal through both more affordable loans and financial education," said Cliff Rosenthal, executive director of the Federation. "Working with a long-time partner, JP Morgan Chase, and a new partner, Bank One, we will make a major financial difference for these consumers and families." Later this summer, the Federation will seek proposals from member credit unions to develop alternative loan products in five states. Each of the five selected credit unions will receive $50,000 -- half for a loan-loss reserve and half for financial education and counseling and other expenses. They would launch yearlong programs in early 2005, with full results and analysis expected in the spring of 2006. The Chicago-based North Side Federal Credit Union, which has made affordable short-term loans to its members in Chicago, will receive $50,000 from the grant to provide technical assistance to program participants. The remaining $100,000 will cover startup and monitoring costs, as well as third-party analysis. The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is a nonprofit organization representing more than 225 credit unions nationwide that specialize in serving low-income communities. The holding companies of JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank One plan to complete their merger July 1. Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE) ( http://www.bankone.com ) is the nation's sixth-largest bank holding company, with assets of $320 billion. Bank One currently has more than 51 million credit cards issued, nearly 7 million retail households, and approximately 20,000 middle market customers. It also manages $188 billion of clients' investment assets. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) ( http://www.jpmorganchase.com ) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $801 billion and operations in more than 50 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and businesses, financial transaction processing, investment management, private banking and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York and serves more than 30 million consumers nationwide, and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients.
SOURCE Bank One Corporation; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.