Chase Bank Opens Branch in North St. Louis

This is the bank's 20th branch in the St. Louis area

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click to enlarge Chase Bank celebrated the ribbon cutting of its newest St. Louis branch in the Covenant Blu-Grand Center neighborhood. - BENJAMIN SIMON
BENJAMIN SIMON
Chase Bank celebrated the ribbon cutting of its newest St. Louis branch in the Covenant Blu-Grand Center neighborhood.

Chase opened its 20th branch in the St. Louis area on Wednesday, with a pledge to open 31 by the end of 2024.

The newest branch will make its home in the Covenant Blu-Grand Center neighborhood in the MLK Plaza. Nearly 60 people crammed into the 3,000-square-foot business on Wednesday, where they celebrated the opening and held a ribbon cutting while Cardinal Ritter College Prep cheerleaders chanted, “Finance and save! Go to Chase Bank!”

Attendees lauded the new branch as an influx of resources into a traditionally disinvested community.

“When I see this room here today, I will tell you, this brings to life the reason why we're doing this,” Racquel Oden, head of network expansion for Chase, told the crowd. “We want to be part of all communities, and we want to be part of communities that have been underbanked and underserved. And the reason why is because you matter, and we’re there, and we got your back.”

For years, Chase, a subsidiary of J.P, Morgan, resisted building in a fragmented St. Louis banking market. But after Chase opened its first branch in Kirkwood in 2019, the number of St. Louis Chase branches has sky-rocketed across the area.

This comes despite many banks closing branches nationwide since the 2020 pandemic — nearly 4,000 branches in 2021 alone — according to Bloomberg. Chase closed 129 branches in January 2022. Locally KMOV reported anecdotal evidence that St. Louisans were struggling to find open banks.

But Oden says Wednesday’s opening marks Chase’s desire to continue expanding in St. Louis — with nearly 10 more branches to come in the next two years. “I'm going to promise you here now that we are here for the long haul,” Oden said.
click to enlarge Racquel Oden, head of network expansion for Chase, speaks to the crowd in the new Chase Bank in Covenant Blu-Grand Center. - BENJAMIN SIMON
BENJAMIN SIMON
Racquel Oden, head of network expansion for Chase, speaks to the crowd in the new Chase Bank in Covenant Blu-Grand Center.


The newest location at 3625 Page Boulevard, previously a nail salon, will employ eight people, including four associate bankers. Plus, it will have two ATMs. Oden says that 30 percent of Chase’s branches are in low-to-moderate-income areas.

“It's not a stadium, this is not a museum,” she said. “It's a bank branch. But I think you guys realize how important it is to ensure that we, as a community, understand the importance of financial health, financial literacy, but more importantly, wealth creation.”

Ward 21 Alderwoman Laura Keyes, who attended the ribbon cutting, tells the RFT that there aren’t enough banks in the area.

“Banking is so important to a community, where oftentimes, we hadn't been really educated on money and banks and how they work,” she says.

Although Keys doesn’t represent the neighborhood, she has a personal connection. She grew up just a few blocks away. As she stood outside at the grand opening, she says the plaza, now featuring a Save-A-Lot, Foot Locker and a Chase Bank, looks much different than it once did.

For her, this is a sign of the times to come for the neighborhood.

“It’s on the come-up,” she says. “It's on the rise.”

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