Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren slammed Jamie Dimon Wednesday for the $1.5 billion in overdraft fees that JPMorgan Chase collected from consumers last year during the pandemic.
“Mr. Dimon, you are the star of the overdraft show,” Warren said during a Senate hearing.
The Massachusetts senator said JPMorgan collects seven times more in overdraft fees per account than its competitors.
“I think your numbers are totally inaccurate,” Dimon said.
A JPMorgan spokesperson called Warren’s comparisons “false,” noting the senator is likely comparing the bank to much smaller retail lenders.
Warren noted that regulators issued guidance in early 2020 recommending banks automatically waive overdraft fees for customers hurt by the twin health and economic crises. However, the joint guidance Warren’s office linked to later on Wednesday does not say the overdraft fees should be “automatically” waived, only that banks should be “responsive to the needs” of impacted customers.
“We waived the fees for customers upon request if they were under stress because of Covid,” Dimon said.
Warren pointed out that overdraft fees are disproportionately paid by Americans making less than $50,000 a year and minorities. And she said JPMorgan would have still made nearly $28 billion last year if it had not charged overdraft fees.
Asked if he would commit to refunding those fees, Dimon simply said, “No.”
“You and your colleagues came in today to talk about how you stepped up and took care of customers during a pandemic,” Warren said, “and it’s a bunch of baloney.”
Update: A JPMorgan spokesperson told CNN Business: “Last year, when customers said they were struggling, we waived fees on over 1 million deposit accounts, including overdraft fees – no questions asked.”
JPMorgan also noted that it does not charge overdraft fees when customers are less than $5 overdrawn at the end of the day or the transaction is for less than $5. The bank added that it offers an account that doesn't have overdraft fees.