State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch

612 supporters

    Started 2 petitions

    Petitioning JPMorgan Chase, Bank Of America

    Demand Big Banks to Treat Black and Brown Businesses Equitably During COVID-19 Crisis.

    In the midst of the largest health and economic crisis in modern history that claimed thousands of black lives and resulted in a virtual shutdown of major economic powerhouses and societies across the globe, big banks are demonstrating a complete disregard for the well-being of black people and black biz most in need of economic relief -- all while calling for billion-dollar bailouts for themselves. The two biggest offenders are also the two largest banks in the United States by assets: JP Morgan Chase, currently worth approximately $2.7 trillion, and Bank of America, worth a combined $2.38 trillion. These banks are accustomed to not having to suffer the consequences of their illegal and immoral policies, as seen 12 years ago in the 2008 market crash. Although there is consensus that the widespread banking practice of the packaging and sale of bad mortgages into mortgage-backed securities caused the recession, Bank of America received a $20 billion bailout in conjunction with a guarantee of nearly $100 billion for losses on bad assets to cushion the blow of a declining balance sheet at Merrill Lynch & Co. Perhaps more appalling, JP Morgan Chase also received a $25 billion bailout from the U.S government-- although prior to the collapse they had acquired Bear Stearns, a bank with some of the most egregious abuses. This purchase made JP Morgan Chase responsible for Bear Stearns' crimes and led to a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General and the Justice Department of the United States. JPMorgan Chase settled this case for $13 billion. Both of these banks were undeservingly bailed out from the market crash they helped cause thanks to the tax dollars of the American people who they now refuse to help. When the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) began to roll out, part of Phase 3 of the CARES Act  passed by Congress in March to get $350 billion into the hands of small business owners affected by COVID-19, we saw both JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America scramble. Their response to increased applications was not to scale up capacity, but rather, to turn away those most in need. During the opening days of the Program, Bank of America decided to only open loan applications to those who had existing lines of credit with them. JP Morgan followed suit and limited the processing of the PPP applications to their existing clients. The result of their actions was widespread condemnation, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Big Banks Favor Certain Customers in the PPP Small-Business Loan Program. These policies limiting access to lifeline PPP loans to current customers are not only unconscionable, but they are also ILLEGAL and do not follow the legislative intent of the Cares Act. It was only following significant public backlash and shaming that Bank of America decided to drop this requirement and accept applications from new clients. While such self-serving practices may not be new, we must hold these banks to account during this unprecedented moment in history. Their actions disproportionately hurt black small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and communities. We demand these banks stop their illegal actions toward small business owners, and call on them to lead an equitable process for the roll-out of the PPP program that ensures those in most need of relief are at the front of the line.

    State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch
    332 supporters