CEOs from the largest consumer-facing banks in the U.S. are scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this week in both the House and Senate as the fall midterm election season heats up and a stack of proposed banking bills await potential action.
Maxine Waters, D., Calif., will chair the hearings on the House side at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and available for viewing here. The full committee hearing is titled, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: Oversight of America’s Largest Consumer Facing Banks.”
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs under chairman Sherrod Brown, D., Ohio, takes up the topic of banking on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time in a hearing streaming live here. The hearing of the full committee is billed as the Annual Oversight of the Nation’s Largest Banks.
Despite the glare of the spotlight on the bank CEOs, BTIG said that they will be listening for lawmaker and witness commentary regarding bank M&A, the asset cap currently imposed on Wells Fargo, the state of the economy, and competition with nonbank challengers. BTIG does not expect any major policy changes or revelations from the hearings.
“From our seat, these hearings remind us of the Nutcracker ballet as they are both seasonal, follow a relatively tight script, and are forgotten almost immediately after the lights dim to black,” BTIG analyst Isaac Boltansky said in a note last week.
The seven bank CEOs scheduled to testify at both the House and Senate hearings are Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Jane Fraser, Wells Fargo & Co.’s
Charlie Scharf and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America Corp.
The wide range of topics include consumer protection and compliance, enforcement actions and recidivism; diversity, inclusion, and racial equity; mergers and acquisitions; emerging technologies; and issues relating to the public interest, including worker rights and abortion access.
” As Congress looks to tackle major issues such as pervasive racial inequalities in financial services, systemic risks to our financial system, including climate change, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this hearing will bring greater transparency and accountability for the actions of these major industry players,” according to a description of the House hearing.
On the House side, along with bills that were passed this year such as the Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act (H.R. 2543), several other bills are also being considered. Those measures address financial issues ranging from climate change risk to modernization of mergers and acquisitions to improving credit reporting for consumers.
With the U.S. Senate now divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, some banking measures have been slow to win passage of the full Congress. The dynamics are expected to shift in November with the midterm elections.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision Michael Barr made his first policy speech on Sept. 7 and said the government could introduce more regulations for regional banks to shore up more capital during economic downturns, among other potential changes.