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Obama Administration Goes After JPMorgan

In separate lawsuits filed on this past Wednesday, the Obama administration accused JPMorgan Chase & Co. of several discriminatory practices. JPMorgan, regarded as the country’s biggest bank, has been the recipient of claims of bias for years, going back at least to 2009. These claims by the government accuse the lender of discriminating against minorities in home lending, as well as its female employees by paying them less than male employees in the same position.

In the case filed on the discrimination of minorities, the government alleges that between 2006 and 2009, JPMorgan’s discriminatory practices cost more than 53,000 black and Hispanic borrowers millions of dollars in overcharged rates. The government said that a black borrower paid higher loan rates and larger rates for the same type of mortgage as a white borrower with the same credit and risk profile. The U.S. also explained that they did a regression analysis to find out how much more minorities paid as a result of these higher fees and rates, since the bank itself did not keep the necessary data.

In the case filed on the lesser pay of female employees, the Labor Department said that for workers in the same position, JPMorgan paid at least 93 female workers less than their male counterparts.  According to the Labor Department, the women have been paid lower wages since at least 2012. JPMorgan faced a similar suit in 2009, when the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claimed women at an office in Columbus, Ohio, were discriminated against. The bank settled the allegations in 2014 by agreeing to pay $1.45 million to a group of female mortgage bankers.

While the lender disputed both claims, it agreed to settle the race case for $55 million with the Department of Justice, according to a statement by the bank. JPMorgan vowed to fight the case on gender inequality.Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, after being honored for its effort to facilitate an inclusive work environment, said in April that a diverse workplace “is not only the smart thing to do–it’s the right thing to do.”

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