JPMorgan Chase & Co. will temporarily close about 1,000 of its branches and reduce staff in the some of the remaining branches due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports said.
In a memo sent to its employees on Wednesday, JPMorgan reportedly said it will close about 20 percent of its branches to protect employees. The closures begin on Thursday.
JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is the first among the major U.S. banks to announce widespread closures of branches due to COVID-19. The bank has nearly 5,000 branches and more than 255,000 employees.
According to reports, JPMorgan said it is giving some staff, including financial advisers and mortgage bankers, the option to work from home. It is also reducing the hours of operations at branches that are open.
Most of the remaining branches have drive-through windows and glass partitions that separate the bank tellers from customers.
JPMorgan will reportedly pay its branch employees based on their regular scheduled hours even if they work for reduced hours. It will also give all employees two additional paid days of leave.
In early March, JPMorgan reportedly asked thousands of its U.S. employees to work from home for a day to test its contingency plans. The test came amid news of many companies around the world restricting employee travel and temporarily closing offices, as part of efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also on Wednesday, JPMorgan announced a global philanthropic commitment of $50 million to address the immediate public health and long-term economic challenges from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The company noted that the funds will support communities and people hit hardest by the public health crisis through an initial $15 million commitment.
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