A Dallas Chase Branch is Reinventing Banking for Residents

Chase Community Managers help empower customers in their financial journey. 

April 19, 2023

A version of this story originally appeared in The Dallas Examiner.

With over 100 years of experience supporting the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JPMorgan Chase is continually innovating to meet the evolving needs of its local customers. One such innovation came as part of the firm’s $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity: the opening of its first Community Center branch in Texas.

Terri Thomas, the Oak Cliff branch’s dedicated Community Manager, joined the team specifically  to increase awareness of and access to resources, financial health tools, and services. Community Managers are often from the neighborhoods where they work, giving them insight into the challenges faced by the community. 

With the help of local nonprofit partners who are invested in driving change for Black communities in Dallas, JPMorgan Chase is bringing more allies to its local bank branches. Together, they share Chase’s goal of empowering its customers to improve their lives and achieve financial health.

The Dallas Examiner had an opportunity to ask new local Community Manager Terri Thomas a few questions about innovations at the Chase Impact Branch that will help the community grow, as well as the changes the new branch is expected to bring, and how customers can work with Terri and her team to chart their path forward and meet their financial goals.

Question: What is the difference between your job and that of other Chase Bank Branch Managers?

Terri: My role was designed specifically to meet the unique financial wellness needs of our city’s Black and Brown community. We want to evolve from community banking to community building and to do this, we’re actively working to reverse systemic inequalities across the financial system, break down economic barriers and support the success of our customers and our community. We plan to start by providing access to financial health resources, tools, and allies to help you achieve your financial goals.

Think of a community manager as a neighbor who understands intentional relationship building, the financial needs of leaders, organizations and people in your community – and who introduces you to the right person in the bank who can help. Meanwhile, a branch manager is a more traditional role created to help you with everyday banking needs – like opening a bank account or offering advice on homeownership and small business growth.

Question: How do you plan to financially empower the Black community in Southern Dallas?

Terri: We’re here to empower members and businesses in the Dallas community with tools to build generational wealth and a long-lasting legacy. Awareness and accessibility are key, and we see the local branch as an ideal place to begin fostering vital community connections and touchpoints to help our customers reach their financial goals.

As a Community Manager, my job is to connect with the individuals, families and business owners here in southern Dallas, and increase awareness and utilization of available resources. My team and I will help you and others in your neighborhood take advantage of financial health tools, products and services, while aiming to boost general financial knowledge via unique and free interactive programs, such as resources to support financial health, home buying tips, educational and enrichment workshops, and growth support for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their small businesses.

While we’re just getting started, I hope to make a real difference in the lives of the families, individuals, homeowners and business owners in our community.

Question: What financial opportunities will be available to Dallas’ Black community through this Chase Impact Branch?

Terri: We want to promote financial health, homeownership and minority-owned businesses.

One of our priorities will be to help individuals in our community open a checking account for the first time, as this is the key to financial stability and critical to closing gaps in access to banking. To do this, we’ll walk through our low-cost, no-overdraft checking accounts like Chase Secure Banking, which can offer security to those who might be new to banking or who have had trouble getting or keeping a bank account in the past.

My team is also responsible for promoting growth among minority-owned small businesses – which means we’ll help local entrepreneurs secure loans. We’ve also brought on board home lending advisors who are focused on helping more of the community secure the funds needed for affordable, sustainable homeownership.

To help advance homeownership in diverse and traditionally underserved communities, Chase Home Lending is now offering a $5,000 homebuyer grant to help in covering closing costs and down payment for qualified homebuyers purchasing a home. In addition, customers who complete a certified education course can save an additional $500 on a Chase DreaMaker mortgage.

Question: You mentioned, “community building” as another goal of the local Community Impact Branch. What is “community building” and how will you accomplish this task in Dallas?

Terri: At Chase, we have a tremendous opportunity right now to help our clients, communities, and our country recover from the uncertain times we’re living through. That’s our mission. It is the commitment we are making at this branch and at every Chase branch.

Our branches are the heart and soul of this company. They are where we meet with people to talk face to face during life’s most important moments, like opening a first savings account, buying a first home, or planning for retirement. Bank branches are necessary to help communities thrive –and our Oak Cliff community center is truly innovative. Our vision is to make a leap from community banking to community building.

We understand that fully supporting our customers’ success requires a commitment to support the community’s success. Stop by to learn more about the resources available. My team and I look forward to getting to know you.

Learn more about how JPMorgan Chase is supporting equitable economic growth across Dallas-Fort Worth.