September 23, 2022

Congressional Committees Hear Testimony From Executives of Nation's Largest Banks

In separate hearings (see here and here), the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee heard testimony from CEOs of the largest U.S. banks on a broad range of public policy and compliance matters. Witnesses included executives from Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, U.S. Bancorp, Truist Financial Corporation and PNC Financial Services Group.

The committees requested that the executives testify to their respective bank's policies, concerns and initiatives regarding (i) consumer protection compliance; (ii) misconduct and repeat offenses, including merger enforcement; (iii) diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and promoting minority investment; (iv) emerging technologies and cybersecurity; and (v) other public interest issues such as worker rights and abortion access.

The CEOs each addressed how their respective bank has engaged in "responsible growth," with many outlining recent increases in investments in Community Development Financial Institutions and non-profits, and highlighting their bank's role in dispersing pandemic-related relief and ESG initiatives. Additionally, several of the CEOs highlighted ways in which each bank has improved customer relations. The improvements outlined include direct benefits such as improving access to liquidity and eliminating overdraft fees, as well as indirect benefits such as improving consumer protection and cybersecurity policies to mitigate compliance failures. The CEOs said that they were working on improving customer trust by improving data protection and cybersecurity, as well as improving financial education to bolster consumer engagement.

The House Financial Services Committee also considered a variety of new draft legislation as a part of its hearing.

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