Why Jamie Dimon apologized to Elizabeth Warren

new york
CNN Business

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testified on Capitol Hill for the second day in a row on Thursday. This time he faced his longtime critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Warren began her line of questioning by asking how many cases of fraud had been reported to his bank from customers using Zelle, a popular payment platform jointly owned by a number of banks, including JPMorgan.

Zelle, Warren said, has helped boost bank profits while defrauding customers “at least half a billion dollars.” Consumers will send $490 billion through Zelle in 2021, of which an estimated $440 million was lost to fraud and scams, according to Early Warning Services, Zelle’s parent company.

Warren said she reached out to JPMorgan and other banks in July for a response, but was “stonewalled” and received no information.

“You did not provide information that we requested,” she told Dimon in the Senate hearing. “Is that because you don’t keep track of when your customers report fraudulent Zelle transactions? Or is it because you keep track and you know exactly how many fraudulent transactions have been reported and you want to keep that a secret?

Dimon said, “I deeply apologize if we didn’t give you the numbers you asked for.”

The amount of fraud for the service, he said, is “relatively small.” When Warren pressed for specific numbers, Dimon promised she would get back to her by the end of the day.

“Great,” Warren said. “We’ll get it at the end of the day if nobody’s here to talk about it.”

She also said that if a customer falls victim to fraud on the platform, they are largely left to deal with the consequences on their own.

A JPMorgan spokesperson disputed the notion, saying in an email that “we reimburse customers for unauthorized transactions that are reported in a timely manner, and also reimburse for transactions where the consumer is fraudulently instructed to provide credentials to provide account access that is then used by a bad actor to make payments.”

Dimon was joined in the Senate by Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf, Bank of America CEO Brian Thomas Moynihan, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, Truist CEO William Rogers Jr., US Bancorp CEO Andy Cecere and PNC CEO William Demchak.

This isn’t the first time Warren has gone head-to-head with Dimon. Last year, Warren called Dimon the “star of the overdraft show” and accused him of prioritizing profits over struggling Americans. “Your bank, JPMorgan, collects more than seven times as much money in overdraft fees per account as your competitors,” she told him.

Dimon responded that Warren’s numbers were “totally inaccurate.”