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JPMorgan Settles Lawsuit with Black Advisers

September 6, 2018

Six current and former financial advisers at JPMorgan Chase had filed what they asked to be a class action, charging that they had been discriminated against because they’re black.


Before the case went any further, the bank entered into a settlement, agreeing to pay $19.5 million to the claimants and to put $4.5 million into a fund that will back recruitment, bias training, a review of branch assignments and a coaching program for black advisers.


The lawsuit claimed that JPMorgan had sent white advisers to wealthier places while it assigned black colleagues to less lucrative branches, thus denying them opportunities. Claimants further charged that they had few licensed bankers to support them, were mostly kept out of a program for richer clients and got paid less.


Perhaps the real-life numbers on Wall Street speak for themselves. According to JPMorgan’s own figures, the bank’s share of black employees has dropped for 6 straight years, falling to 13.4% in 2017 from 16% in 2011. Meanwhile, at Citigroup, black workers account for only 10% of U.S. workforce, down from 17% in 2009.