JPMorgan invests $25 million in fintech start-ups

FILE PHOTO: A J.P. Morgan logo is seen in New York City, U.S., January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N is investing $25 million to support fintech start-ups that help low-income Americans be more financially healthy, bank executives said on Tuesday.

JPMorgan’s head of global philanthropy Karen Keogh said the investment in the Financial Solutions Lab will help early-stage fintech companies products that could help people in communities like Harlem.

“We’ve long believed that fintech coupled with in-person coaching and behavioral nudging is critical” to financial health, Keogh said. “This is how economies are built: strong, vibrant healthy households.”

The investments come on the heels of JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon’s comments that a company’s responsibility is to all stakeholders, not just its investors.

The investment also shows that the bank is betting that supporting finance apps and having meeting spaces for community groups in its branches could result in more new customers.

A newly renovated Harlem branch bank on West 125th Street is passed more than 1 million pedestrians weekly, and the bank redesigned it to have several meeting rooms that can be reserved for free by people and businesses in the community.

This is a new take on a trend started by other banks like Capital One, which converted several of its branches into cafes in a bid to drive more people into the bank’s costly brick and mortar locations.

JPMorgan’s location has a storefront where local entrepreneurs can hold pop-up shops, as local retailer and hat maker Flamekeepers Hat Club did in August.

The bank plans to open five more branches like the Harlem branch, next in Los Angeles.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Cynthia Osterman