Chase opens Mattapan branch; says focus is the ‘underbanked’

As part of its efforts to expand into new markets, JPMorgan Chase has opened a branch on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan.

The banking giant, headquartered in New York, is focusing on supporting the “underbanked” — people who typically rely on money orders and payday loans rather than a bank account or credit card — in Boston.

The new branch, at 1617 Blue Hill Ave., is offering financial advice such as workshops on budgeting and building credit, skills training and mentoring for entrepreneurs who will also have access to pop-up space to display and sell their merchandise.

The branch, which opened at the end of July, also has a “living room” area that can be used for events, and free internet for community groups and residents who want to use it for remote learning and work.

The branch is led by Roxann Cooke, a Mattapan resident who grew up in Dorchester and Roxbury and now works as Chase’s head of branches for New England and Pennsylvania. She has previously worked for Eastern Bank, Citizens Financial Group, and Bank of America.

Chase has 4,700 US branches, with plans to expand into Greater Boston and elsewhere in the country. Its new branch in North Quincy, just across the Boston border, is No. 200 in the bank’s quest to open 400 in new markets, the Boston Business Journal recently reported.

“We see our branches as beacons of opportunity and access, and this new branch will help us do even more for the Mattapan community,” Cooke said in a statement. “We are supporting one of our country’s most diverse neighborhoods and helping to boost people’s opportunities to thrive and build wealth.”

The bank employs 200 local bankers in 23 branches in Greater Boston. The Mattapan facility is one of 16 community branches nationwide. The company has hired a community manager, Sabrina Antoine Correia, who will serve as “local ambassador” for the bank. She is being tasked with setting up free programs on budget building, home buying, and how to fund small businesses, among other topics.

“My goal is to address economic inequality for Boston’s residents by listening, learning, and connecting them to resources that improve their financial health,” Correia said, adding:

“The Mattapan Community Center branch is part of a thriving community full of potential and Chase is proud to call the neighborhood our newest home.”

Mattapan has two other bank branches: Citizens and Santander, according to the Boston Business Journal. The Bank of America branch closed last year.

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