EconomyBankers to the bench: the US Congress will question...

Bankers to the bench: the US Congress will question them on economic and social issues

The CEOs of JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and other major US retail banks will be questioned this week by lawmakers on a range of topics, from the state of the economy to their views on abortion and fuel loans. fossils.

Payment fraud, fostering diversity, mergers and access to bank branches will also be discussed when the CEOs appear before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and Thursday. respectively, according to bank officials, congressional aides and lobbyists.

The list includes the CEOs of the four largest US banks: JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, Citi’s Jane Fraser and Wells Fargo’s Charles Scharf.

They will be joined by USBancorp CEOs Andy Cecere; of PNC Financial, William Demchak; and from Truist Financial, William Rogers, who lead the nation’s largest regional lenders.

While such hearings rarely result in legislative action, they remain risky for chief executives, who will be forced to defend their banks on several fronts as lawmakers seek to improve their profiles ahead of the November election.

During a similar hearing last year, Dimon was embroiled in a fiery exchange with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the overdraft charges. Meanwhile, former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan abruptly resigned in March 2019, two weeks after stumbling during a House committee hearing on the bank’s progress in fixing its regulatory problems.

The hearing comes amid growing concern that rate hikes by the Federal Reserve (Fed), intended to control inflation, could push the country into a recession. In June, Jamie Dimon said the US economy was facing a “hurricane” but he couldn’t predict how severe it would be.

Lawmakers are likely to grill CEOs about how consumers’ finances are holding up and how lenders plan to help Americans as borrowing costs rise.

“We will continue to hold the nation’s largest banks accountable so that Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money, when they need it most,” said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown. in a statement sent to Reuters.

The banks believe they have a positive story to tell about how well they performed during the Covid-19 pandemic while helping distribute billions of dollars in aid; its continuing role in the economy at large; and their efforts to increase pay for ordinary workers, promote racial equity in the communities they serve, and increase workforce diversity.

That’s a message bank executives, lobbyists and trade groups have delivered during a marathon of private meetings with key lawmakers in recent weeks, the sources said.

“Our banks have a lot to point to in showing how much they’ve done to support consumers, small businesses and the economy during the pandemic and to this day,” said Lindsey Johnson, CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association .

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