: Hours after CEO decried inequality, JP Morgan seeks to quash call for racial-equity audit

: Hours after CEO decried inequality, JP Morgan seeks to quash call for racial-equity audit

2021-04-07 23:31:00

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co., spoke Wednesday morning in his annual letter to shareholders about inequality, racism and corporate social responsibility.

Hours later, the board of JP Morgan, which he chairs, urged shareholders to vote against a proposed racial equity audit.

JP Morgan Chase is one of the country's few largest banks urged to conduct a racial equity audit to investigate how their practices and policies affect non-white customers and communities of color after the Black Lives Matter protests from last year.

Dimon in particular went further than other CEOs by going to a Chase branch in New York last year and taking a knee to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Additionally, in a letter to shareholders released Wednesday morning, Dimon spoke of the importance of careful planning, analysis and reporting on the economic and racial crises facing the United States.

See: US Economy Thrives In 2023 But Inequality Needs To Be Addressed: Jamie Dimon In His Latest Letter To JPMorgan Shareholders

He also mentioned the importance of transparency: “Unlike many companies that just sell you a product if you can pay for it, banks must necessarily reject customers or enforce rules that a customer may not like (eg covenants). This makes open and transparent handling even more important. "

When the bank released its proxy on Wednesday afternoon, JP Morgan pushed for a “no” vote on a shareholder resolution that would ensure transparency on racial equality, saying it is already addressing these issues. In its defense, the company cited a $ 30 billion commitment over five years to "close the racial prosperity gap, support workers and break down barriers of systemic racism," and said it "has extensive engagement with stakeholders who are becoming impacted by our activities ", as well as a system to diversify the workforce.

In its shareholder proposal, CtW Investment Group pointed to the & # 39; conflicting history & # 39; from JP Morgan in tackling racial injustice. Among other things, the group cited the company's $ 55 million federal mortgage discrimination lawsuit; the closure of its branches in predominantly black communities; and lawsuits for discrimination against its black and Hispanic employees.

See: Companies declared last year that "Black lives matter," and are now being asked to prove it

JP Morgan Joins Citigroup Inc.
+ 0.12%

Wells Fargo & Co.
+ 0.35%

Bank of America Corp.
+ 0.91%

and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

by asking shareholders to decline a racial equity audit. Morgan Stanley

dealing with a similar proposal recently reached an agreement with CtW. According to CtW, which agreed to withdraw its proposal, Morgan Stanley pledged to conduct an internal review of its workforce and leadership before next year's annual meeting and to further discuss its practices affecting the equity of others. -white stakeholders.

A JP Morgan spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday evening.

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