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JPMorgan issues 1st social bond for $1B to fund affordable housing projects

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has dipped its toes in the social bond market with a $1 billion issuance aimed at funding affordable housing projects.

Announced Feb. 16, the social bond issuance of $1 billion aggregate principal amount of fixed-to-floating rate notes follows JPMorgan's issuance of $1 billion in green bonds in September 2020 to finance environmentally friendly projects.

Under JPMorgan's Sustainable Bond Framework, the firm may allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the issuance to activities that promote economic development by financing small businesses in low- and moderate-income areas, affordable housing and projects that promote access to education and health care in those geographies. In addition, minority- and female-owned enterprises and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses are co-managing the bond offering, according to the company's press release.

More broadly, JPMorgan has a goal of dedicating $30 billion through business and philanthropic capital to help advance racial equity and support an inclusive economic recovery.

"JPMorgan Chase is committed to using innovative financing strategies to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery," said Marisa Buchanan, head of sustainability at JPMorgan. "With a focus on boosting affordable housing, our inaugural social bond issuance builds on our leadership in the sustainable bond market and our strategy to use our business expertise to create opportunity for underserved communities."

The company has previously been involved in the sustainable bond market in other ways. In 2020, JPMorgan's broker-dealer subsidiaries underwrote $23.7 billion in green, social and sustainability bonds.

Listen to an episode of S&P Global's ESG Insider podcast featuring an interview with JPMorgan Head of Sustainability Marisa Buchanan on SoundCloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.