Black Financial Advisors Demand Their Checks From JPMorgan

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By CultureBanx Team

  • JPMorgan Settles $24M lawsuit with 6 black financial advisers
  • In 2017 black employees made up 13.4% of JPMorgan’s workforce

Discrimination on Wall Street reared its ugly head once again, only this time six current and former black financial advisors at JPMorgan (JPM -0.01%) decided to fight back and won. Instead of going through what was shaping up to be a long drawn out legal battle, the nation’s largest bank settled an ongoing lawsuit with the aforementioned employees for $24 million.

Why This Matters: The lawsuit was brought by advisers across the country, Jerome Senegal in Texas, Erika Williams in Illinois, Brent Griffin in Wisconsin, Irvin Nash in New York, Amanda Jason in Kentucky and Kellie Farrish in California. The six plaintiffs claimed JPMorgan sent white advisors to wealthier places and assigned black colleagues to less lucrative branches, along with denying them opportunities.

Bloomberg reported the bank agreed to pay $19.5 million to settle these claims, citing Aug. 31 filings. JPMorgan will also put $4.5 million into a fund that will go toward recruitment, bias training, a review of branch assignments and a coaching program for black advisors, according to the publication.

Other firms have been slapped on the wrist for internal racial discrimination. In late 2016, Wells Fargo (WFC +0.35%) agreed to pay $35 million to more than 500 black advisors and trainees. Also, in 2013, Merrill Lynch (BAC +0.03%) settled for $160 million with African-American financial advisors.

JPMorgan has continued to struggle when it comes to retaining or promoting black talent. In 2017, black employees made up a dwindling share of the company’s U.S. workforce down to 13.4% from 16% in 2011.

Situational Awareness: The real problem might be at the helm of the company with CEO Jamie Dimon. It seems like wherever he goes racial or gender discrimination suits follow. In the mid 90s Dimon was CEO of Smith Barney and a defendant in the gender-discrimination suit known as the “Boom-Boom Room.”

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