Business News: US banks criticised for failing the public during Covid.
The heads of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were roasted during an appearance before US lawmakers. “The profits on Wall Street don’t care what happens to the workers, because those profits now come at the expense of the workers,” a senator said.
But the heads of the bank stressed the aid granted during Covid. In his opening address, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, added that when employees get sick or lose their jobs, “they don’t get a taxpayer bailout.”
David Solomon, the head of Goldman Sachs, said he gave workers an additional 10 days off in the past year, in addition to continuing to pay.site staff such as cleaners or canteen attendants even if they weren’t working.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren also criticized bankers for charging clients overdraft fees, although regulators have recommended waiving them.
In a hostile exchange with JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, he said the company had raised around £ 1.5 billion in overdraft fees in 2020, more than any other bank at the hearing. “You and your colleagues came today to talk about how you worked to help your customers during the pandemic. That’s a lot of nonsense,” he said.
When each of the bosses were asked if they would reimburse the taxes they charged last year, they said no. Executives have also been criticized from Republicans at the hearing, wary of “awakening” and “leftist attacks on capitalism”.
Senator Pat Toomey expressed concern about banks prioritizing social causes, citing examples such as climate change rather than the financial interests of customers. Each bank head referred to their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as their own efforts to improve diversity in their organizations.