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JP Morgan cuts ties with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma

People pass a sign for JPMorgan Chase at it’s headquarters in Manhattan, New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

J.P. Morgan Chase has ended its relationship with Purdue Pharma over its alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC on Thursday.

J.P. Morgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, becomes the most high-profile corporation known to have disassociated itself from the OxyContin maker, forcing Purdue to look for other banks to manage its bills and cash. Reuters first reported the move Thursday.

Purdue, owned by the wealthy Sackler family, faces thousands of lawsuits claiming that the company marketed addictive painkillers while underplaying the risks of abuse and overdose.

The bank’s decision also underscores a drive among U.S. banks to reassess their relationships with clients and industries in response to controversy and political debates over matters such as immigration detention and mass shootings.

After J.P. Morgan informed Purdue in March that it had six months to find another bank, Purdue tapped Dallas-based regional bank Comerica to handle its financial transactions and accounts, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“Purdue is a streamlined organization with an exciting pipeline of new medicines and significant cash reserves,” the company said in a statement. “The company has multiple banking relationships and will not have any interruption to its banking and financial service needs.”

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.