BlackRock program to test tools to boost saving by individuals

FILE PHOTO: The company logo and trading information for BlackRock is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc BLK.N has teamed up with Mastercard Inc MA.N, United Parcel Service Inc UPS.N and Etsy Inc ETSY.O among other organizations, to build and test tools to help individuals start saving for emergencies.

The companies will work with a group of nonprofits focused on consumer financial health to build then test savings products on their employees, BlackRock said in a statement.

The program will be funded by BlackRock’s previously announced $50 million commitment to its emergency savings initiative, the asset manager said.

A number of companies have in recent years taken steps to encourage employees to fund emergency accounts as they respond to data that suggests a large percentage of American households are ill-prepared to deal with a financial emergency.

A recent Federal Reserve report on the economic wellbeing of American households found that about 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman