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Wells, JPMorgan CEOs: ‘Committed’ to Fight Racism in the Wake of George Floyd's Death

June 1, 2020

Wells Fargo’s Charles Scharf and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and are among several CEOs of large U.S. financial institutions pledging to fight racism in the wake of the death of an unarmed, handcuffed black man at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, which has led to demonstrations around the U.S. as well as the world, according to news reports.

“This week’s terrible events in Minneapolis, together with too many others occurring around our country, are tragic and heartbreaking,” Dimon and Brian Lamb, JPMorgan’s newly appointed diversity chief, wrote in a memo to U.S. employees Friday, according to Bloomberg. “Let us be clear — we are watching, listening and want every single one of you to know we are committed to fighting against racism and discrimination wherever and however it exists.”

Dimon was referring to the death of George Floyd, who died last week while handcuffed on the ground, with officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s back and neck, which was captured on video by a bystander, the news service writes. The incident sparked protests across the U.S. and violent clashes in Minneapolis, followed by Chauvin getting arrested and charged with murder on Friday, according to Bloomberg.

Wells Fargo’s Scharf wrote in an email to employees that he can’t, as a white man, “really appreciate and understand what people of color experience,” but said he can “commit that our company will do all we can to support our diverse communities and foster a company culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion,” according to the news service.

Other Wall Street executives wrote similar emails to their employees.

“I want you to know that your colleagues and I will always stand with you,” Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat wrote in a memo to employees, according to Bloomberg. “While I can try to empathize with what it must be like to be a black person in America, I haven’t walked in those shoes.”

Katie Simpson, president of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Market at Bank of America, wrote a memo to staff saying Floyd’s death raised “incredibly difficult” issues in the community and that the company would “demand respect and inclusion for all people,” according to the news service.

And Andy Cecere, CEO of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, told employees in a memo that he’s “trying to find the right words to tell our entire team, and especially people of color, that I believe their lives matter,” according to Bloomberg. 

JPMorgan, meanwhile, has been in the spotlight over racism and discrimination issues inside the firm in recent months. In March, Dimon said that the coronavirus crisis could be an opportunity to rebuild a more inclusive economy. That announcement came about five months after The New York Times ran an exposé detailing racial discrimination allegations by a former JPMorgan financial advisor in Phoenix and one of the firm’s clients. 

Do you have a news tip you’d like to share with FA-IQ? Email us at editorial@financialadvisoriq.com.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
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Tags:  Staffing and recruiting , Bank of America , Citigroup , JPMorgan , Wells Fargo , U.S. Bancorp

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Truth in Advertising Jun. 1, 2020 at 10:14 AM EDT

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Oh the sickening corporate platitudes about their commitment to "diversity" and "inclusion" in their workplaces!Exactly what are they doing to help protect their black employees from being murdered by trigger happy cops with a long history of multiple complaints involving excessive force? Are any of them calling for police reform to eliminate "bad cops" who tarnish the reputation of the many good cops and endanger the communities they are sworn to protect? Any Financial Advisor with 18 complaints like Derek Chauvin would have been barred from the industry long before the 18th complaint! No these CEO's are simply offering shallow platitudes of "support" that is meaningless against the cops that act as "State Sponsored Terrorists" in the black community. No those corporations will simply spruce up their "Diversity" policies and add some more required diversity training courses that will do nothing to protect their black employees from police brutality and the absence of justice when it occurs! Maybe these corporations should offer some training for black employees on how to protect themselves from being killed by the police for a broken taillight or passing a fake $20 bill they didn't even know was fake! ALL lives matter but black lives don't seem to matter among law enforcement and the justice system. Corporate platitudes about hiring and promotion practices are tone-deaf to the issue of rogue cops murdering unarmed black people and lying about it. Simply Pathetic!