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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Defends Bank's Lending To Firearm Manufacturers

"Everything we do with clients goes through a severe process of review"

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks at the Economic Club of Washington September 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images
 

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon defended his bank's lending to firearm manufacturers during a Wednesday hearing before the House Financial Services Committee amidst a barrage of Democratic pressure, according to Fox Business.

 

"A hearing with top U.S. banks executives on Wednesday meant to examine the stability of the global financial system was partially eclipsed by a debate over varying gun policies instituted — or not instituted — by the firms," reports the outlet.

Following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, which left 17 students and staff dead, several banks announced that they would be changing their lending practices regarding firearm manufacturers. Bank of America, for instance, said it would no longer finance manufacturers of "military-style firearms" while demanding clients prohibit gun sales to people under 21. Citibank effectuated a similar policy.

"We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings," Anne Finucane, a vice chairman at Bank of America, told Bloomberg at the time. "I mean that’s such a tragedy in the United States, so that’s number one."

When asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) as to why Chase Bank did not join with Bank of America or Citibank in their gun control push, Dimon said that firearm manufacturers undergo a strict review by the bank before the bank lends to them.

"Everything we do with clients goes through a severe process of review, reputational risk, etc. We have a very small relationship with gun manufacturers," Dimon said. "There are over 100,000 retailers out there who sell guns. Every single one that we do business with we do a throughout review ... and if we think they are doing something wrong our risk committee stops doing business with them."

Dimon added that Chase Bank would "consider" adopting stricter policies against gun manufacturers in the future.

 

In the same hearing, Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin pressed Bank of America for placing restrictions on gun manufacturers, effectively accusing the financial institution of elitism.

"There’s a lot of Americans who you serve [that] would greatly disagree with that policy," Duffy told CEO Brian Moynihan. "It might play well in the east coast, it might play well in California, [but] your bank is not the Bank of New York or California, it’s the Bank of America."

It should be noted that the state of Lousiana punished Citibank and Bank of America severely for their gun control stances by denying them a project in the state worth $600 million. The Daily Wire reported at the time:

Louisiana officials denied two of America's largest banks an opportunity to be involved in a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars on Thursday because of their decision to align with left-wing activists and the Democratic party in pushing for gun control.

"The State Bond Commission refused to allow Citigroup and Bank of America to work as underwriters on the interstate highway financing deal," The Virginia Pilot reported.

The effort, led by two Republicans — Attorney General Jeff Landry and Treasurer John Schroder — came in response to decisions from both banks to enact "policies restricting gun sales and manufacturing by their commercial customers."

Lousiana government officials made it clear that they would not tolerate bullying tactics intended to harm American's Second Amendment rights after far-left activists pushed heavily for gun control earlier this year.

 

Though a long-time Democrat, Jamie Dimon has warned that his political party's shift leftward could cost them future elections. In January 2018, he even told Fox Business that Trump will secure re-election in 2020 if Democrats reject a more centrist, pro-business stance.

"The thing about the Democrats is they will not have a chance, in my opinion. They don't have a strong centrist, pro-business, pro-free enterprise person," Dimon told Fox Business.

Dimon also warned that Americans are just as angry about bureaucracy as they are about greedy banks.

"The American public is not clamoring for more government. They were angry about the Great Recession, they blamed banks, they blamed Washington, but they're also angry about the bureaucracy," he added.

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