In a self-inquiry done into its past, JP Morgan Chase has delved into its corporate history and found that it actually owned slaves at one point. This inquiry found that two banks in Louisiana which later became part of JP Morgan Chase took 13,000 slaves as collateral on loans and owned 1,250 slaves when the loans defaulted. The company has apologized and has set up a $5 million scholarship fund in Louisiana.
After a careful review of its history to which it had agreed, JP Morgan Chase disclosed its historic connection with slavery in the United States and apologized.
"Recently, JP Morgan Chase completed extensive research examining our company's history for any links to slavery to meet a commitment to the city of Chicago," the company said in a statement released Thursday.
"We are reporting that this research found that, between 1831 and 1865, two of our predecessor banks -- Citizens Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana -- accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took ownership of approximately 1,250 of them when the plantation owners defaulted on the loans," it added.
"We all know slavery existed in our country, but it is quite different to see how our history and the institution of slavery were intertwined.
Slavery was tragically ingrained in American society, but that is no excuse.
"We apologize to the American public, and particularly to African-Americans, for the role that Citizens Bank and Canal Bank played during that period.
"Although we cannot change the past, we are committed to learning from and emerging stronger because of it," the company said.
JP Morgan Chase said that, as the events took place in Louisiana, it would set up a five-million-dollar college scholarship program for students living in the southern state.
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