A group of 19 GOP state attorneys general warn JPMorgan Chase of alleged discrimination against religious and other conservative organizations, which contradicts the company’s commitment to “inclusiveness”, they say.
In a letter to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Tuesday, state attorneys general led by Daniel Cameron of Kentucky allege the company has “persistently discriminated against” customers based on “religious or political affiliation.”
Chase says he opposes “discrimination in any form,” but GOP leaders say he has repeatedly targeted religious freedom organizations by shutting down their checking accounts and denying them access. other key banking services because of their political leanings, a practice now known as ‘debanking.’
The attorneys general point to Chase’s alleged “unbanning” of a religious liberty organization last year — the National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF) — without a clear explanation.
The NCRF, which was founded by former United States Goodwill Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, is a well-known “multi-faith” nonprofit organization.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, who said of the First Republic purchase: “Our government called on us and others to step in, and we did”
A deal was announced earlier on Monday that allows for an orderly failure of the First Republic, following news that JPMorgan Chase has bought the bank
Brownback said in October he was “stunned” the bank closed NCRF’s checking account and did not provide a sufficient response as to the reasons for the closure.
According to the letter, a Chase employee eventually contacted the NCRF saying the bank would reinstate the account, but only if the organization provided a list of its donors, a list of political candidates it intended to support, and a reasoning behind the endorsements.
“The bank’s brazen attempt to condition critical services on a customer who passes an unarticulated religious or political litmus test runs counter to Chase’s anti-discrimination policies. Worse, it goes against core American values of fairness and equality,’ the attorneys general say in the letter to Dimon.
In addition, there have been at least two other instances where Chase “failed to expand its openness and inclusion to everyone,” state AGs say.
Family Council, a pro-life group, had its account terminated with a Chase-owned credit card processor in 2021 after it was deemed “high risk” by the company.
WePay, which is also owned by Chase, reportedly did not provide ticketing services for the Defense of Liberty organization, a conservative group, in 2021 because the event featured Donald Trump Jr., the son of the former president.
This action prompted the Missouri State Treasurer to threaten to cut off business with the bank, and following pressure, Chase reinstated the organization’s account.
But attorneys general say that although the bank has reversed course, it has not taken steps to prevent the same problems from happening in the future.
“And while the bank reversed past decisions based on such discriminatory judgments, Chase apparently made no institutional changes to prevent similar discrimination in the future.”
The state leaders say that if Chase begins participating in the survey component of the Viewpoint Diversity Score business index, it will be a “positive first step” in ending its alleged discrimination.
The survey, which Chase previously declined to participate in, is the “first comprehensive benchmark designed to measure companies’ respect for religious and ideological diversity in the marketplace, workplace and public square.”
A Chase spokesperson previously said the company would “never” walk away from a customer relationship based on political or religious preferences.
“Of course, I am not in a position to speak about confidential client matters. But what I can say is that we never have and would never sever a client relationship because of their political or religious affiliation” , said the spokesperson.
Additionally, Trump’s former national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, was recently notified that a family credit card had been canceled by the bank without explanation.
‘Chase Bank has fully awakened!’ Flynn exclaimed in a statement. “They have to face their own reputation instead of persecuting me and my family. The DOJ dropped my case for their own gross government misconduct, it looks like you weren’t so lucky with the DOJ. I guess my political views on America First don’t match yours. Your loss.’
Flynn was pardoned by the former president after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI, and his case was dismissed by the Justice Department in 2020.
Chase said the cancellation of the Flynn card was done “in error”.
DailyMail.com contacted Chase to provide a comment on the letter on Tuesday.
The letter was signed by: Steve Marshall, Alabama; Treg Taylor, Alaska; Tim Griffin, Arkansas; Ashley Moody, Florida; Chris Carr, Georgia; Raul Labrador, Idaho; Todd Rokita, Indiana; Brenna Bird, Iowa; Kris Kobach, Kansas; Daniel Cameron, Kentucky; Jeff Landry, Louisiana; Andrew Bailey, Mississippi; Austin Knudsen, Montana; Andrew Bailey, Missouri; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Ken Paxton, Texas; Sean Reyes, Utah; Jason Miyares, Virginia; and Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia.
Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, applauded the attorneys general’s decision.
“I commend these attorneys general for warning banks like JP Morgan Chase for ignoring their customers and responding to woke political agendas. Individuals and organizations with certain political or religious beliefs should not be denied access to funds or barred from accessing a financial institution. Actions like this shine a light on the clear political activism that these banks and companies are engaging in,” he told DailyMail.com.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron leads charge against alleged JP Morgan discrimination
“Companies should focus on their customers, not woke politicians, activists or ESG elites like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.”
BlackRock is another big investment firm that has come under fire from conservatives who claim it puts commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion above shareholder interests.
The state law enforcement charges come as JPMorgan faces questions about its relationship with convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.
A judge ruled on Monday that the company could be held liable by the women who accused Epstein if lawyers can prove former bank manager Jes Staley knew Epstein ran a sex trafficking ring.
“If the allegations contained in plaintiffs’ complaints are believed to be true, Mr. Staley knew firsthand that Epstein was running a sex trafficking business,” U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff wrote.
Also, on Monday, JP Morgan announced that it bought First Republic Bank after its recent collapse.
Under the terms, JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $10.6 billion to the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), which placed First Republic in receivership, for most of the bankrupt bank’s assets.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase rose 2.14%, making the largest US bank the Dow Jones’ top earner.
The collapse of the First Republic is the third major casualty of the biggest crisis to hit America’s banking sector since 2008.