Banking

Dems Want Bank Execs To Testify Before Congress Each Year

Democrats would like to see bank executives get grilled by Congress on an annual basis.

After Wall Street leaders spent hours answering lawmakers’ questions at a hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services last month, Maxine Waters surprised them when she revealed plans to bring them all back again next year. Now, a draft legislation that would make that annual meeting mandatory for banks’ CEOs has been added to the agenda for a hearing before the committee.

The legislation has not been formally introduced, and, according to Bloomberg, it will most likely have a difficult time passing through the Republican-controlled Senate. In the meantime, Waters is planning another hearing for regional bank executives.

Last month, the top executives of seven of the biggest banks in the U.S. were grilled at the hearing, titled “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global, Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” The full roster included JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, BNY Mellon’s Charles Scharf, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon, Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, Citigroup’s Michael Corbat and State Street Corporation’s Ronald O’Hanley.

The topics of discussion included everything from the state of the financial system to guns, and from cryptos to executive compensation. Some lawmakers defended the actions of the banks and executives, pointing to job creation, for example, while others criticized pay gaps that represented chasms between what the CEOs and more junior employees made in terms of take-home pay. By the end of the questioning, even Representative Patrick McHenry, the panel’s top Republican, admitted that the meeting had substance.

Waters, the committee’s chairwoman, has already seen many banks implement the changes she’s been calling for in advance, including Bank of America raising its minimum wage and Goldman Sachs setting minority hiring goals.

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