Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Michael Ross says the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that JPMorgan Chase has to hear the shareholder resolution encouraging them to promote viewpoint diversity and to be transparent about their banking practices.
"What we have seen lately is a disturbing trend in politicized banking," Ross relays.
According to ADF, Chase has denied payments or canceled accounts associated with people and organizations -- like former Ambassador Sam Brownback, the Arkansas Family Council, and Defense of Liberty -- who hold mainstream American values.
"Governments have granted groups like Chase and other financial institutions all of these privileges so that they can serve the public," says Ross. "So when megabanks like Chase turn around and start discriminating against the customers for their political and religious views, what they're doing is betraying that trust, and they're jeopardizing the ability for millions of Americans to participate in the marketplace."
The attorney points out that the situation involves everyone, even those who may not bank with Chase or follow the SEC.
Last fall in its Viewpoint Diversity Score 2022 Business Index, ADF identified several other financial institutions like PayPal that have also taken part in what Ross calls "this disturbing trend." So he reasons that this is something that presents an existential threat and must be nipped in the bud. If it escalates, it will do so quickly, shutting millions of Americans out of the marketplace.
At the shareholder meeting scheduled for May 22, Chase shareholders will now have an opportunity to review and vote on a proposal aimed at ensuring equal treatment of the financial giant's customers.
The JPMorgan Chase declined AFN's request to comment for this article.