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Over anti-religious discrimination, lawmakers confront JPMorgan Chase


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    CV NEWS FEED // Finance giant JPMorgan Chase “has persistently discriminated against certain customers due to their religious or political affiliation,” said over 30 Republican statewide elected officials in two separate letters sent to the company’s longtime CEO Jamie Dimon.

    In their letter dated March 23, 14 Republican state financial officers, including treasurers, controllers, auditors, and commissioners of revenue, alleged that the bank “has demonstrated an apparent pattern of political bias in numerous key policy and operational decisions.” Nineteen state attorneys general, all Republicans, agreed in a similar letter sent to Dimon on May 2.

    The attorneys general referenced JPMorgan’s “Equal Opportunity, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Statement,” which claims “no form of discrimination … is tolerated” within the organization, as evidence that the bank broke its own rules. 

    “Chase has not extended its openness and inclusivity to everyone,” the letter stated, adding that “last year Chase de-banked a preeminent religious liberty organization,” the National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF). The financial officers acknowledged that fact as well in their March letter.

    The NRCF, as described by FOX Business, “is a nonpartisan, multi-faith nonprofit founded by former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.” Brownback also served as the Republican governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018 and was a U.S. senator for nearly a decade-and-a-half prior. 

    “The people said the decision was made at the corporate level, it’s secret, we’re not going to tell you why, and it’s irrevocable,” Brownback said after JPMorgan closed his organization’s account last year.

    Brownback said a Chase employee told NCRF the bank would only restore their account if they gave a list of their donors to the bank.

    The Wall Street Journal reported on the dual letters:

    The letters said JPMorgan terminated client accounts due to religious beliefs—which the bank denies—and they also demanded the bank respond to detailed survey questions on issues of concern to conservatives. The survey probes policies around speech freedoms, for example, in a nod to conservatives who believe employees of faith should feel free to express disagreement with workplace priorities such as diversity or climate initiatives they view as progressive.

    JPMorgan employees have been receiving emails over the past several days, making the same points as the letters, according to people familiar with the matter and a sample email viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    This week, JPMorgan Chase has urged its shareholders to vote “no” on a resolution proposed by Christian portfolio manager David Bahnsen. The resolution would call on the bank to “respect civil rights by identifying potential factors that may contribute to discrimination in the provision of services based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or social, political, or religious views.”

    Tuesday, the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) gave JPMorgan Chase a Viewpoint Diversity Score of 9%. This metric, which is out of a possible 100%, measures a company’s “corporate respect for free speech and religious freedom.”

    Dimon’s bank was notably given a lower score than the 10% received by Netflix and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. 

    >> DISMAL FREE SPEECH SCORES FOR MEGABRANDS <<

    Dimon has served as the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States and the largest in the world outside of China, for over 17 years. The megabank’s lineage can be traced all the way back to the Manhattan Company, which was started in 1799 by American founding father and Vice-President Aaron Burr.

    A known Democratic donor, Dimon was in the news on the day of the June 2022 Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade when he oversaw his company’s decision to reimburse costs for employees who travel out of state to seek abortions.

    Dimon has been rumored to be under consideration by President Joe Biden to eventually replace Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury.

    Sources


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