The Wall Street heavyweight said parts of the business accepted thousands of slaves as collateral on loans made to plantation owners in #theSouth
in the early 19th century.
It sent a letter to employees expressing contrition for its involvement in a "brutal and unjust institution". It made the disclosure to comply with a rule requiring companies to detail past dealings with the trade when they are doing business with the city of #Chicago.
in Louisiana, both now part of #JPMorgan,
served plantations from the 1830s until the American civil war, which ended in 1865.
The banks sometimes took ownership of slaves when the plantation owners defaulted on loans.
The company estimated that between 1831 and 1865 the two banks accepted approximately 13,000 slaves as collateral and ended up owning about 1,250 slaves.
In the letter, signed by the chief executive, William Harrison, the bank said: "We apologise to the #AfricanAmerican
community, particularly those who are descendants of slaves, and to the rest of the American public for the role that Citizens' Bank and Canal Bank played. The slavery era was a tragic time in #US
history and in our company's history."
The bank has posted documents on the slaves it took into ownership online at www.bankone.com/ourapology.
They are often listed as "un named individuals" or by first name only, including Peggy, Jacob, Big Joe, Lucille, Armi-sted, Monday and Celestine.
Citizens' and Canal merged in 1924 and were bought by Chase in 1931, which merged with JP Morgan in 2000.
The bank became America's second largest after acquiring #BankOne
The bank said it is a "very different company" today.
It is establishing an initial $5m college scholarship programme for black students in Louisiana for five years to "both acknowledge the past and improve the future".
Although it is a highly charged issued in the US, efforts at seeking reparations from companies once involved in slavery have made little progress.
JP Morgan was named in a class action in 2002 which combined smaller claims. The case called for #reparation
from 18 companies, including #LloydsofLondon, #FleetBoston, #RJReynoldsTobacco,