|For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2015, 10 AM EST
|For more information:
Alexis Iwanisziw – 212-680-5100, ext. 201
Josh Zinner – 212-680-5100, ext. 208
NEW YORK GROUP PROTESTS JPMORGAN CHASE’S LOBBYING
AGAINST FINANCIAL REFORMS
Speaks Out at Annual Meeting in Support of Its Shareholder Resolution
A leading New York economic justice organization traveled to Detroit, MI, today to speak out at JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting and demand accountability by the bank. The group, New Economy Project, which holds shares in JPMorgan Chase, spoke in support of a shareholder resolution the group filed with allies, calling on the bank to be fully transparent about its lobbying against financial reforms.
“The bank has an abysmal track record in lower-income communities and communities of color. Making matters worse, JPMorgan Chase spends untold millions and hires an army of lobbyists to weaken critical laws intended to curb risky lending and trading practices that put the American economy at risk,” said Alexis Iwanisziw, New Economy Project’s Deputy Director. “Chase carries out a ton of its lobbying through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations, so absent full transparency, we have no idea of how much the bank is actually spending to defeat needed laws and regulations.”
The resolution focuses on the reputational risk that Chase’s heavy lobbying against financial reforms poses to shareholders – at the same time that Chase continues to be the subject of a long list of government enforcement actions, including for mortgage servicing and securitization abuses, municipal bond bid-rigging, manipulation of energy markets, LIBOR-rigging, the London Whale incident, and currency manipulation. According to the 2015 Harris Corporate Reputation Survey, JPMorgan Chase ranked in the bottom 20 of the 100 most visible companies, and received a reputational ranking of “Poor.”
“Chase played a major part in causing the financial crisis, and yet the bank shamelessly uses its enormous economic and political power to lobby against even basic rules that would help prevent a similar crisis in the future,” said Wanda Rivera, a member of Foreclosure Resisters, a group of New Yorkers personally harmed by bank lending and foreclosures, who have banded together to fight back. Foreclosure Resisters accompanied New Economy Project to Chase’s shareholder meeting in Detroit to raise concerns about the bank’s ongoing failure to address mortgage servicing abuses.
The resolution, which New Economy Project filed with The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and Walden Asset Management, is part of a national campaign to shine a light on the massive amounts of money that Wall Street spends to defeat even the most common-sense regulations.
# # #