JPMorgan and Citigroup join US companies suspending political donations



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Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., second from left, listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC, the United States, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were among the first major financial firms to say they would suspend donations to political action committees after supporters of President Trump besieged the U.S. Capitol last week.

JPMorgan, the largest US bank in terms of assets, is suspending contributions from Republicans and Democrats for “at least” the next six months, according to spokesman Steve O’Halloran. The New York-based bank will use this time to consider potential changes to its political giving strategies.

“The country is facing unprecedented health, economic and political crises,” Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility for JPMorgan, said in a statement to CNBC. “Right now, business leaders, political leaders and civic leaders should focus on governance and helping those who desperately need it most. There will be plenty of time to campaign later.

Driven by the January 6 riots in which five people lost their lives, companies such as Marriott International and insurance group Blue Cross Blue Shield said they would stop giving money to Republican lawmakers who supported efforts to disrupt President-elect Joe’s certification Biden’s victory. But the banks, rather than targeting and potentially alienating members of the Republican Party, have instead decided to end donating to all lawmakers, at least for now.

These measures were part of the larger fallout from a shameful episode that forced American companies to accept how to respond. Tech companies like Twitter, Facebook and Amazon have taken steps to limit the spread of disinformation that could incite more violence.

Political Action Committees pool employee donations and can allocate up to $ 5,000 to one candidate per election, as well as $ 15,000 per year to any national party committee. Since the money comes from voluntary contributions from employees, this move circumvents federal laws that prohibit companies from giving money directly to applicants.

Citigroup is also suspending PAC donations to all lawmakers during the first quarter, the bank told employees on Friday in an internal communication.

“We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Candi Wolff, head of global government affairs, said in the memo. “We intend to suspend our contributions during the quarter as the country goes through the presidential transition and hopefully emerges from these events stronger and more united.”

Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin said the “violent and appalling assault on the US Capitol” will factor into donation decisions for the 2022 midterm election.

Representatives for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to the messages over the weekend.

This story is developing. Please come back for updates.

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