Wall Street CEOs to face Capitol Hill scrutiny during oversight hearing

Wall Street CEOs to face Capitol Hill scrutiny during oversight hearing

May 26, 2021

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The CEOs of some of the largest banks in the U.S. will testify Wednesday on Capitol Hill for Senate's Wall Street oversight hearing.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is holding the virtual meeting that will include testimony from Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Bank of America CEO Brian Thomas Moynihan.

The hearing will likely focus on current issues related to major U.S. banks that have come under the spotlight over the last year including the COVID-19 pandemic and banks' responses, racial justice, tax policies, cryptocurrencies, climate change and other topics, based on CEO testimony published on Tuesday evening.

"We are living through extraordinary times, for which history will judge the leaders of government and industry by the actions we take to address the health crisis, support the people and businesses suffering from the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic, and address longstanding structural inequities and racial economic inequality," Dimon wrote in his testimony. 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at a conference in Washington, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo (Reuters)

Other CEOs gave similar testimony, highlighting financial commitments to help small businesses and individuals impacted by the virus and efforts to become more equitable and sustainable.

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"As the world’s most global bank, we continue to support many of the most iconic American businesses as they navigate the uncertainty of markets abroad," Fraser wrote in her testimony. "And working in concert with federal assistance programs, we continue to serve as a source of strength for our customers and communities here at home. We are laser-focused on driving a sustainable and equitable recovery to the pandemic."

Moynihan said in his testimony that Bank of America "has taken many steps" to help its clients, the communities its serves "and ultimately the U.S. economy—through the pandemic-driven economic crisis and recovery."

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"We made additional investments to address the needs of our teammates and their families, to support our communities and to help deliver progress on important issues facing society, with a particular focus on racial equality and economic opportunity," he said.

Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan speaks at the Boston College Chief Executives Club in Boston on Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) (Getty)

But business leaders may also face questioning on less mainstream topics.

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Senate Banking Committee member Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has held meetings with Moynihan, Dimon, Solomon, Scharf and Visa CEO Alfred Kelly Jr. over the past few months to discuss "discrimination" in the financial sector related to energy production and firearms, according to his website.

"Success in America is achieved through innovation and individualism, not by caving to partisan political pressure and discriminating against law-abiding or constitutionally-protected businesses," Cramer said in a Tuesday statement after his meeting with Moynihan. "I am grateful Mr. Moynihan took the time to discuss the role of the financial industry in our culture, and I look forward to working with him in the future."

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Cramer in March introduced the Fair Access to Banking Act, which is co-sponsored by more than 30 senators and aims to prevent banks from discrimination against certain companies based on political preference by prohibiting financial service providers that "deny fair access" to their services from accessing "taxpayer-funded discount window lending programs."

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