Wall Street

JPMorgan is pledging millions to anti-hate groups, citing 'deep divisions'

Key Points
  • The move is in response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.
  • JPMorgan is also pledging $50,000 to a local community foundation and will match employee donations.
  • Last week Apple's Tim Cook pledged $2 million to anti-hate groups.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon attends a policy forum with President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House, Feb. 3, 2017, in Washington.
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JPMorgan Chase, whose outspoken chairman and chief executive, Jamie Dimon, joined a chorus of other business leaders condemning President Donald Trump's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, is pledging up to $2 million to anti-hate groups.

"While there are no simple answers, it is vital that we recommit ourselves to the principles of equality, respect and acceptance," said JPMorgan's Peter Scher, a former Clinton administration official who is now the bank's head of corporate responsibility and runs its foundation. He is also the bank's face in Washington, D.C., as chairman of that region.

It is clear, he said in an internal email Monday, "that the events of the past week reflect deep divisions across our country and compel us to redouble our efforts."

The planned donation follows similar moves by Apple and 21st Century Fox's James Murdoch. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged $1 million each to the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center and said the company would match employee donations. Murdoch, head of 21st Century Fox, pledged $1 million to the ADL.

JPMorgan is giving $1 million to be split between the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center "to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations," Scher said the email. JPMorgan is also giving $50,000 to the Charlottesville community foundation and will match employee contributions to the anti-hate groups up to another $1 million.

In a statement emailed to CNBC later on Monday, ADL's spokesperson said the organization also has received donations in the last week from Uber, MGM Resorts and Bumble, an online dating service.

ADL's online donations last week increased six-fold versus the average for 2017 and the amount of funds raised increased 1,000 percent, Betsaida Alcantara, the spokesperson, added. "We are proud that the great majority of the individual online donations came from first-time donors."

Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in his own statement emailed to CNBC: "Now more than ever, America's leading institutions must speak out against white supremacism. While we appreciate JPMorgan Chase's contribution, we are even more grateful for its strong public position against hate and bigotry."

Business leaders, including Cook, Dimon and Murdoch, have condemned Trump's response to the violence that erupted between white supremacists and counterprotesters during a weekend march earlier this month. Two business councils advising the administration, made up of CEOs and others, disbanded last week as a wave of CEOs quit.

"I strongly disagree with President Trump's reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days," Dimon said in a memo to staff last week. "Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong."

JPMorgan says its foundation has a tradition of donating money after natural disasters or events that affect communities where it has operations. Last year it donated $300,000 to Orlando, Florida, for recovery efforts after a deadly nightclub shooting, and it matched employee gifts up to another $200,000. The foundation also gave $200,000 for flood relief in Louisiana.