Bank CEOs to testify as Congress ramps up scrutiny of Wall Street

imageStock Markets12 minutes ago (Apr 15, 2021 02:40PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington

By Michelle Price

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Congress will hold hearings next month with the chief executives of major Wall Street banks as Democratic lawmakers step up scrutiny of the role lenders have played in helping struggling Americans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee will hear testimony from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), according to a notice from the House committee.

While the industry’s image in Washington has improved since the decade-ago financial crisis, Democratic lawmakers have expressed skepticism that lenders are doing all they can to help Americans and small businesses hurt by the pandemic.

They are likely to grill the CEOs on the industry’s role in the small business Paycheck Protection Program and ask them to address concerns, flagged by several Congressional reports, that lenders dished out the taxpayer funds to fraudsters and discriminated against some legitimate borrowers.

Industry officials also expect lawmakers to focus on how mortgage-lenders are helping homeowners, and whether they are doing enough to prevent a foreclosure crisis. Other key Democratic goals, including tackling racial injustice and climate change, are also expected to feature in the discussion.

After the banks this quarter posted bumper profits and as President Joe Biden floats the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy, the millionaire chief executives are also likely to be grilled on whether Wall Street and its rich executives pay enough to the government.

Bank CEOs to testify as Congress ramps up scrutiny of Wall Street

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