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BlackRock program to test tools to boost saving by individuals

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
The company logo and trading information for BlackRock is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> has teamed up with Mastercard Inc <MA.N>, United Parcel Service Inc <UPS.N> and Etsy Inc <ETSY.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.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)