JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C), the largest and third-largest U.S. banks by assets, opened about half their retail branches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut following the biggest Atlantic storm in history.
Almost 60 percent of JPMorgan’s 3,200 cash machines and 70 percent of Citigroup’s 1,500 ATMs are working today, the New York-based banks said. JPMorgan is waiving late fees and other charges for customers in 10 states along the East Coast and the District of Columbia through Nov. 1, the lender said in a statement. Citigroup said it is waiving similar charges through Nov. 5.
“Our employees have done simply heroic things to get more than half of our branches open today,” said Ryan McInerney, chief executive officer of Chase’s consumer bank. “We stand ready to help our customers in any way we can,” including charging mobile phones, he said.
Financial markets were shut for two days, airports were dark and government offices shuttered by a storm that killed at least 50 people and disrupted millions of lives because of flooding and power failures. JPMorgan opened 587 branches, or 55 percent of its retail locations in the region. About 55 percent of Citigroup’s 300 branches in the area are open, said Catherine Pulley, a spokeswoman for the bank.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second biggest U.S. lender, said it was deploying mobile ATMs to serve customers in lower Manhattan and that it had 13 banking centers open in the borough. About 75 percent of its branches were open in the Northeast, according to Mark Pipitone, a spokesman for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender.
Citigroup said it is refunding fees for customers who need to use ATMs outside the bank’s network.
“We realize it’s important during this time to have easy access to cash,” said Cece Stewart, president of U.S. consumer and commercial banking for Citigroup.
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