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Noah Manskar

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March 19, 2020


JPMorgan Chase is closing about a fifth of its bank branches to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The finance giant will shutter about 1,000 Chase bank locations temporarily, according to a memo sent to employeesWednesday. The roughly 4,000 other branches will reduce their operating hours starting Thursday.

The bank is trying to balance its need to protect employees with “the fact that we are essential to the communities we serve,” said Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. “We are doing everything we can to step up for our country, our customers and for all of you.”

Branch employees will get paid for their regular hours regardless of whether their locations are closed or running on reduced schedules, Chase said. The bank also gave workers two extra days off and relaxed its dress code so staffers can wear sneakers and T-shirts. Home-lending advisers, financial advisers and small-business bankers were due to start working from home on Thursday.

Chase isn’t the only banking company shutting down branches because of the coronavirus. Capital One on Monday temporarily closed a handful of branches and all of its “cafe” locations, which also serve coffee. Branches that remain open will primarily serve customers through drive-throughs or behind protective glass, the company said.

“We believe this is the right step to take to help prevent the spread of the virus, and support the health and well-being of our customers, our associates and our communities,” Capital One says on its website.