Bank CEO tells Congress that they will work to avoid foreclosure

The CEOs of the nation’s largest banks are back in front of Congress, with questions ranging from bitcoin to efforts to keep Americans in their homes, after government aid to epidemic-stricken mortgage holders ended this summer Used to be.

WASHINGTON – Chief executives of the nation’s largest banks went to Congress on Thursday for a second day to address questions about ending government aid to epidemic-hit mortgage holders this summer after efforts to keep Americans in their homes. Had to face.

On Wednesday, the House hearing came after senators questioned six CEOs on topics including climate change, voting rights and racial disparities. Members of the House asked detailed questions related to industry policy at Thursday’s hearing.

Representative Maxine Waters, D-California and chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has been with the big bank’s CEO since Democrats took control of the House in 2019. In earlier hearings, many of the same CEOs were questioned about their commitments to diversity and the fees they charged customers.

Waters focused most of his questions on the potential tide of foreclosure this summer once the government aid program ended. There are still about 2 million homes in some form of tolerance, which is well below the height of the epidemic but still contains millions of struggling families.

“I want you all to commit that these people will not lose their homes,” Waters said.

In response, CEOs of banks that have mortgage businesses — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase — all said they plan to continue offering flexibility to borrowers even past the expiration date.

CEOs are appearing as the US economy is recovering from the recession created by the coronovirus epidemic. In the first three months of this year, the profits of big banks have increased as recovery has gained momentum. They were able to release billions of dollars from their reserves originally set aside in the early days of the epidemic last year for potential losses on their debt.

The banking industry, which was blamed for the Great Recession more than a decade ago, has spent much of 2020 and this year focused its efforts on working with borrowers and businesses. Banks across the country waived fees and withheld millions of hostages to shore up the distressed finances of Americans in the epidemic.

CEOs like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon and Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan came to the hearing, sharing similar comments made at Wednesday’s hearing – that the industry is here to help through the epidemic and banking. The system is strong. A new face for Congress compared to 2019 is Jane Fraser, the new CEO of Citigroup and the first woman to run a Wall Street firm.

Republicans focused most of their questions on issues related to US competition with China, rising levels of government debt, as well as banks not providing financing to coal companies, gun manufacturers, or other controversial industries.

“Your actions will shut down legal American businesses. I would say that your actions are not working to advance the economy but are actively working against it,” said Missouri Republican Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer.

Solomon of Goldman Sachs said industries like coal are legacy industries but banks will be there to help those companies transition to new technologies.

“There will be new technologies that will create new, even better-paying jobs, something that America has always led,” he said.

Luetkameier and other Republicans also emphasized the fact that many of these big banks actively seek to do business in China, which has been accused of several human rights violations.

Several members of Congress also asked the CEO about inflation. Billions of dollars have been spent under former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden to combat the economic effects of the coronovirus epidemic. The economic recovery is well underway, but in recent months the prices of things such as wood, steel and gasoline have risen sharply.

Asked if inflation was an issue, JPMorgan’s Dimon said inflation was “heating up, but we’re not boiling yet.” Solomon echoed Dimon’s comments by saying that the economy was not warming yet “but I would be cautious.”

CEOs were also asked for their opinion on digital currencies such as bitcoin, which have risen in value over the past 18 months, but have been extremely volatile recently. The currencies have also been used in criminal activities such as a ransomware attack on the East Coast Pipeline Company earlier this month.

“My own personal view is that it is nothing like a fiat currency, it is nothing like gold. Buyer beware,” Dimon stated bluntly.


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