Big bank executives set to testify before Congress amid allegations of discrimination against conservatives

Chase, Bank of America may face questions over the decision to push back Black Rifle Coffee Co.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon (Getty Images)

Collin Anderson • September 21, 2022 11:10 a.m.

Two of the largest U.S. banks are facing allegations of discrimination against conservative businesses – allegations they may be forced to address in a Senate hearing on Thursday with their top executives.

The CEOs of Chase and Bank of America are ready to bear witness before Congress on Thursday as part of the Senate Banking Committee’s “Annual Oversight of the Nation’s Largest Banks.” The hearing comes just days after these banks faced allegations that they refused to work with a conservative-aligned coffee company, Black Rifle Coffee Co., because they felt the company posed a “reputational risk”.

Emails obtained by the Free Washington Beacon support these claims. In an exchange with Black Rifle in 2018, Chase executive Mark Outlaw said the bank “would love to do business with a company affiliated with veterans” like Black Rifle, but cited name “issues” and the company’s mission. Black Rifle, for example, offers coffee blends such as AK-47 and Silencer Smooth, and its CEO Evan Hafer told the New York Times he voted for former President Donald Trump.

Now Chase and Bank of America may have to answer for their treatment of the coffee company and other unawakened entities, a development that could provide insight into how hostile major U.S. financial institutions act toward corporations.” politically incorrect”. In addition to Black Rifle, Chase has “limited” its dealings with gunsmiths, a policy that has left the bank jostling after Texas passed a law prohibiting the state from working with companies that “discriminate” against the gun industry.

Neither Chase nor Bank of America returned requests for comment. In the case of Black Rifle, Chase’s hostility to the company appears to run counter to the bank’s financial and social missions – the company’s revenues topped $233 million last year and more than half of its employees are veterans or family members of veterans. of hunting website touts its role in “providing transformative opportunities for veterans and their families” and says its “goal is to position service members, veterans and their families to thrive in their lives after the service”. Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, meanwhile, has guaranteed reviews that he is “not awake”.

Despite his reluctance to associate himself with conservative companies, citing “risk management practices”, Chase leaned heavily on liberal social issues. In June, the company said it was “celebrating Pride” by interviewing employees to “learn more about their personal experiences, backgrounds and advice and how best to support members of the LGBTQ+ community.” The bank suite blog post, which included each employee’s “preferred pronouns”, touted Chase’s “culture of diversity and equality”. In 2018, meanwhile, a Chase Press release bragged that the company “wins[ed] a perfect score for LGBT equality, 16 years in a row.”

Thursday’s hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. It can be streamed live here.

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