State Republican AGs threaten action against JPMorgan Chase for arbitrarily closing accounts and discriminating against clients
05/26/2023 // JD Heyes // Views

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase is in deep trouble with a growing number of state attorneys general.

According to a letter sent to the institution, it is “persistently” discriminating against its own clients and closing bank accounts without warning, according to Republican attorneys general from 19 states.

In the letter, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with a group of law enforcement officials, addressed CEO Jamie Dimon and highlighted concerns that the banking corporation's practices contradict its own policies on equality.

Published by The Wall Street Journal, the letter accused JPMorgan of engaging in recurring instances of discrimination against customers on the basis of their religious or political beliefs.

“It is clear that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) has persistently discriminated against certain customers due to their religious or political affiliation. This discrimination is unacceptable. Chase must stop such behavior and align its business practices with the anti-discrimination policies that Chase proclaims," the AG's claim.

As one example, the AGs cited the bank's sudden closure of an account belonging to a group that advocates for religious freedom.

"In May 2022, Chase abruptly closed the National Committee for Religious Freedom’s (NCRF) checking account. NCRF is a ‘nonpartisan, faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the right of everyone in America to live one’s faith freely.’ NCRF’s National Advisory Board includes Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim members," the AGs argued.


"When NCRF inquired about the reason Chase closed the account, multiple bank employees stated that the decision came from the ‘corporate office.’ Specifically, NCRF’s executive director ‘was informed that ‘a note in the file read that Chase employees were not permitted to provide any further clarifying information to the customer," the letter noted further.

“To be clear, banks generally have the right to conduct their business however and with whomever they choose. But a bank does not have the right to mislead its customers," they added.

"Chase cannot call itself ‘inclusive,’ publicize that it ‘opposes discrimination in any form,’ promise to ‘prevent discrimination’ against customers, and then refuse to commit to the most basic equality of treatment and fair dealing," the state AGs noted.

JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the United States, has faced multiple allegations of discrimination against different groups of people. The bank has been accused of discriminating against women, people of color, and individuals with criminal records.

In 2017, a group of female JPMorgan employees filed a lawsuit alleging that they were paid less than their male counterparts and were denied opportunities for promotions. The case was settled for $5 million, and the bank promised to implement changes to ensure gender equality in the workplace.

Similarly, JPMorgan has been accused of discriminating against people of color in its lending practices. The bank was sued in 2020 for allegedly charging higher interest rates to Black and Latino borrowers than to white borrowers with similar credit profiles. JPMorgan has denied the allegations.

The bank has also faced criticism for its hiring practices. In 2019, the Department of Labor accused JPMorgan of discriminating against black applicants for entry-level jobs. The bank denied the allegations but agreed to pay $5 million in back wages and adjust its hiring practices.

Individuals with criminal records have also accused JPMorgan of discrimination. In 2019, a group of job seekers with criminal records filed a lawsuit against the bank, alleging that they were unfairly excluded from employment opportunities. The case is ongoing, but JPMorgan has denied the allegations.

The bank has implemented several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In 2020, the bank announced a $30 billion commitment to promote racial equity, including funding for affordable housing and small business loans in underserved communities. The bank has also implemented unconscious bias training for its employees and has committed to increasing the representation of women and people of color in leadership positions.

Despite these efforts, JPMorgan continues to face accusations of discrimination, as evidenced by the state AG claims.

Sources include:

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