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Banking Industry Lends Support to Workers, Consumers

JPMorgan Chase announced in a memo Friday that it would give “front-line employees” who are staffing branches and call centers during the COVID-19 outbreak a one-time $1,000 bonus. 

JPMorgan—the largest U.S. bank by assets—closed 1,000 of its nearly 5,000 branches this week. Both full-time and part-time employees who did their jobs from an office or branch and make less than $60,000 a year or are based at a consumer banking branch are eligible to receive the payments, a memo sent by the bank's operating committee. 

The bank announced this week it would close roughly 20% of its U.S. branches, as it worked to reduce staff to limit exposure of COVID-19. 

JPMorgan is also giving workers up to five new paid days away from work and allowing people to carry over unused vacation time from 2019 until June, as a way to “help employees manage child care/dependent care and temporary disruption of service issues” during the virus’ spread, the memo states.

Employees who qualify will get the one-time payment in two $500 installments, to be paid out in April and May. 

In related news, Bank of America announced that it is allowing mortgage holders to defer mortgage payments amid the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FOX News reports that the company will also implement a series of actions aimed at creating financial ease for customers.

Bank of America will also allow consumer and small business accounts to request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees. Also, small business clients can request to defer payment and get refunds on late fees. 

"Our clients rely on us every day and for every aspect of their financial lives,” said Dean Athanasia, President of Consumer and Small Business at Bank of America. “We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period. Our priorities are taking care of our team and each other, and continuing to fulfill our fundamental role serving our clients.”

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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