Apr 10, 2019

Bank CEOs pressed to stop working with gun makers

JP Morgan CEO James Dimon(L) and others are sworn in before they testify before the House Financial Services Committee

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other bank CEOs sworn in ahead of House Financial Services Committee hearing. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the House Financial Services Committee asked CEOs of the biggest financial institutions — JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, State Street, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and BNY Mellon — about their relationships with the gun industry during a hearing on Wednesday, among other social and consumer-driven issues.

Details: In response to a question from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) about whether JPMorgan would "adopt a formal policy" for its relationships with gun manufacturers, CEO Jamie Dimon defended the bank's current policy but said the company would "consider" adopting a responsible lending plan. In the wake of several mass shootings, Citigroup and Bank of America last year re-evaluated their business dealings with makers and sellers of firearms.

Questions from lawmakers largely focused on social issues, including CEO pay, diversity, overdraft fee policies and forced arbitration.

A notable exchange on pay: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) asked Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat how he would feel if he were the average Citi employee, who makes $49,766 versus his $24.2 million — a 486:1 ratio — per Bloomberg.

  • Corbat responded: "I would be hopeful that there's opportunity to continue to advance within the firm."

On diversity: None of the CEOs raised their hand to say they thought their likely successor would be a woman or person of color when asked by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) to do so.

  • All except 2 — Dimon and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman — raised their hands to say it could happen within the next decade.

When asked about Brexit, not one of the CEOs said Brexit was a "systemic risk," but called it a challenge for the economy.

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