"Chase what matters" is the bank's tagline. To a group of Seattle activists what matters is chasing down JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
On Nov. 2 Dimon will be at the downtown Seattle Sheraton for a celebration organized by the University of Washington's Foster School of Business. He will be met by protestors portraying him as part of the problem in the nation's financial crisis.
Dimon made more than $20 million last year in the top spot at Chase, putting him in the "top 1 percent of the 1 percent," according to the economic justice group Working Washington.
Since taking bailout money from the federal government, Chase has posted more than $40 billion in profits. After taking over WAMU, Chase slashed jobs but continued to pay executives stratospheric salaries. Dimon is the highest-paid banker in America, according to CNN.
But it's not just his pay stub that's rankled protesters. Regulators have cited Chase for failing to modify home loans and foreclosing without the proper paperwork.
Advocates for the poor have criticized Chase for charging poor people to use an EBT card to access cash benefits ("Chase charges higher ATM fees to those on welfare," RC, May 25, 2011). DSHS contracts with Chase to provide debit-like Quest benefit cards to TANF and food stamp recipients and manage their accounts. The agency already pays Chase a monthly caseload fee of 67 cents for each cash-only TANF account, $1.24 for each food stamp account and $1.65 for dual accounts.
Chase also takes in $100,000 a month by charging fees to Washington's poorest people.
They may not be able to avoid banking with Chase, but other consumers can. Protestors targeting Dimon are among those urging people to move their money in a Nov. 5 action called Bank Transfer Day.