SEC green-lights vote to audit bank’s actions against conservative, religious customers
Investors who are fighting the politicization of America’s banks scored a rare win last week with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling that allowed a shareholder proposal in favor of political and religious diversity at JPMorgan Chase to go forward, despite the bank’s objections.
On March 29, the SEC green-lighted a shareholder proposal that would direct the bank’s board to investigate what some say is a “disturbing trend of politicized debanking” at the bank. These shareholders argue that JPMorgan Chase has systematically discriminated against customers because of their political or religious beliefs, and taken steps toward implementing personal social credit scores in America.
The proposal, submitted by the Bahnsen Family Trust, will go to a shareholder vote at the company’s annual meeting on May 16.
“I think we made a compelling case that no American should have to worry about having their bank account closed or payment denied based on their political or religious beliefs,” Michael Ross, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told The Epoch Times. The ADF represented the Bahnsen Family Trust’s proposal at the SEC hearing.
“JPMorgan Chase has shown a disturbing pattern of doing that, and so the SEC said: ‘Look, JPMorgan Chase, you need to answer to your shareholders for this; this has to go up for a vote. They’re asking for more transparency on this and you owe it to your shareholders to give it to them,’” Ross said.
JPMorgan Chase has been the subject of a number of accusations that it is engaging in cancel-culture against conservative and religious customers. This includes the “Statement on Debanking and Free Speech,” signed in November 2022 by 60 financial professionals. That document alleges that banks including JP Morgan Chase attempted to punish account holders with mainstream political beliefs. It claims the bank refused to process payments for a GOP-aligned organization and closed accounts of the National Committee for Religious Freedom without explanation, demanding that the nonprofit disclose its donors and which political candidates it intends to support as a condition of resuming service.