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JPMorgan pressed by Senate Democrats on racial discrimination reports

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of five U.S. senators sent a letter on Thursday to JPMorgan Chase & Co., asking it to explain what it was doing to address what they described as “a troubling list of discriminatory practices” related to race.

The letter was signed by five prominent Democrats, including presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and the top Democrat on the Senate banking panel, Sherrod Brown.

The letter referred to a New York Times article last week that reported cases of racial discrimination at some of the bank’s branches in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

In the letter, the lawmakers ask for details on where the bank is opening and closing branches, questioning how it is serving white and minority neighborhoods. It also requests a history of all regulatory penalties imposed on the bank related to discrimination.

The letter also asks the bank to explain its efforts to boost diversity in its senior ranks, and other policies the bank has in place to ensure no one is improperly treated on the basis of race.

JPMorgan spokeswoman Patricia Wexler said the bank welcomes “the chance to continue the dialogue.”

Earlier this month, Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, told employees he was “disgusted by racism and hate in any form” in a memo sent shortly after the New York Times report was published. He also vowed to improve the bank’s practices.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; additional reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)


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