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Jamie Dimon, the CEO of finance giant JPMorgan Chase, reportedly reduced bonuses for top-level employees seen as not doing enough to advance the firm’s racial equity agenda.
“Dimon says some JPMorgan people had their bonuses cut because they ‘did nothing to help’ on diversity,” Laura Noonan, the U.S. banking editor for the Financial Times, tweeted Friday.
Dimon says some JPMorgan people had their bonuses cut because they "did nothing to help" on diversity
— Laura Noonan (@LauraNoonanFT) October 9, 2020
In response, Fox Business Network reported that a spokesperson for the finance behemoth said the company had implemented a new policy that tied diversity hiring and retention to decisions about bonuses and other compensation.
“We’ve always taken our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion seriously,” the spokesperson told the network.
“To help drive change, we launched a new accountability framework this year to link diverse hiring and retention to year-end performance and compensation decisions for members of the Operating Committee and our most senior leaders. You can attribute this to JPMorgan Chase,” the spokesperson added.
On Thursday, the company announced it would be making a $30 billion multi-year commitment as a means of advancing its race equity agenda, focusing on the black and Latin0 communities. However, company officials have not said why the initiative had not come before now, or how it was discriminating against those communities in the past.
“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Dimon said in a statement.
“We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way,” he added.
Fox Business reported that the company’s plan includes providing funding, equity support, and loans to those communities. Terms and conditions, however, were not laid out.
The funding plan comes amid claims from Black Lives Matter organizers that financial corporations do more to help minority communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has, in reality, had a negative economic impact on all demographics.
Key components of the plan include improving homeownership for minorities, refinancing options for existing homeowners, providing financial assistance specifically to black and Hispanic businesses, improving loan access, and creating 1 million new low-cost checking or savings accounts. The company will also mentor black and Latino account holders.
“Diversifying the JPMorgan workforce is another component of the plan, which includes a new reporting system to hold executives driving these programs accountable for their outcomes,” The Hill added, an initiative that sounds eerily similar to affirmative action-like hiring quotas.
JPMorgan Chase is just the latest large financial corporation to announce new measures and incentives aimed at communities of color in the wake of the George Floyd incident in May.
Last month, the country’s fourth-largest bank, Citigroup, committed $1 billion over three years, with the bulk of that assistance going to bolster homeownership.
“The pandemic is a health crisis with severe economic implications and it’s led to an unveiling of the systemic racism that has existed in this country for far too long,” said Citi’s CFO Mark Mason, one of Wall Street’s black financial executives, Forbes reported.
Bank of American made a four-year, $1 billion commitment to new minority-centric financial aid in June.
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