BlackRock program to test tools to boost saving by individuals

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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc (N:) has teamed up with Mastercard Inc (N:), United Parcel Service Inc (N:) and Etsy Inc (O:) among other organizations, to build and test tools to help individuals start saving for emergencies.

The companies will work with a group of nonprofits focused on consumer financial health to build then test savings products on their employees, BlackRock said in a statement.

The program will be funded by BlackRock’s previously announced $50 million commitment to its emergency savings initiative, the asset manager said.

A number of companies have in recent years taken steps to encourage employees to fund emergency accounts as they respond to data that suggests a large percentage of American households are ill-prepared to deal with a financial emergency.

A recent Federal Reserve report on the economic wellbeing of American households found that about 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

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