Nineteen Republican state attorneys general asserted on Tuesday that JPMorgan Chase “de-banked” organizations for their conservative and religious tendencies, calling on the nation’s largest financial institution to respect the viewpoints of their customers.
The officials stated in a letter to the firm provided to The Daily Wire that the National Committee for Religious Freedom, a “nonpartisan, faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the right of everyone in America to live one’s faith freely,” had its Chase account nixed three weeks into starting a relationship with the company and was asked to provide a list of their donors to the firm. A credit card processor owned by Chase likewise terminated the account for Family Council, a conservative organization working to strengthen traditional family values, while a firm called WePay, which is also owned by Chase, refused to serve Defense of Liberty, a Missouri-based political action committee.
JPMorgan Chase nevertheless contends that the firm remains devoted to diversity and inclusion because of its high scores on the Corporate Equality Index, an initiative from the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBTQ activism and political lobbying organization.
“To be clear, banks generally have the right to conduct their business however and with whomever they choose,” the attorneys general said in the letter. “But a bank does not have the right to mislead its customers. Chase cannot call itself ‘inclusive,’ publicize that it ‘opposes discrimination in any form,’ promise to ‘prevent discrimination’ against customers, and then refuse to commit to the most basic equality of treatment and fair dealing.”
The officials asked JPMorgan Chase to participate in the survey component of the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, an initiative from the Alliance Defending Freedom that evaluates prominent firms for their commitments to religious liberty and freedom of speech. JPMorgan Chase scored 15% out of 100% due to “unclear or imprecise policies” which allow the bank to “deny service for arbitrary or politically biased reasons,” according to the letter.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, to whom the letter was addressed, has previously professed support for the liberties guaranteed by the United States and contended that free expression is a core component of free markets. “We live in the greatest country in the world predicated on foundational beliefs in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise, the sanctity of the individual, and the promise of equality and opportunity for all,” he said in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last year.
The state attorneys general urged Dimon and his firm to act consistently with fundamental American values. “No individual or organization should have to worry that religious or political beliefs will limit access to financial services or undermine financial stability,” the letter continued. “Surely Chase’s promised inclusivity should extend to these fundamental characteristics of American identity. Accordingly, we call on Chase to stop its religious and politically biased discrimination and start living up to its commitment to an inclusive society where everyone feels welcomed, equal, and included.”
The financial system has been leveraged by public and private actors to oppose certain political perspectives, including those often held by conservatives. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers last year to freeze the personal and corporate bank accounts of people involved with demonstrations against vaccine mandates, while PayPal announced that the firm would withdraw funds from accounts deemed to be promoting racism or misinformation, a policy that the company later claimed was published by mistake.