JPMorgan Chase Employees Recorded Making Racist Comments

JPMorgan Chase Employees Recorded Making Racist Comments

St. Louis Rams defensive lineman Jimmy Kennedy, left, visits with his 2-month-old son, Devan, and his wife, Dwaneen Kennedy, following morning practice at the team’s summer training camp in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Words can hurt you – specifically racist ones. Former New York Giant Jimmy Kennedy’s recording of JPMorgan Chase employees making racist comments reveal just how much, according to the New York Post.

The retired defensive tackle furnished the New York Times with a recording of JPMorgan Chase employee Charles Belton, who is also Black, explaining why he was getting the run around during his attempts to become a private client.

“You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American,” Belton told Kennedy. “We’re in Arizona. I don’t have to tell you about what the demographics are in Arizona. They don’t see people like you a lot.”

That wasn’t the end of the troubling comments by JPMorgan Chase employees. At the time, Kennedy’s JPMorgan Chase financial adviser was Ricardo Peters, who is also Black. Peters complained he’d been discriminated against and he also recorded conversations with his colleagues and superiors.

During one interaction, Peters’ boss Frank Venniro was recorded making disparaging comments about a client on public assistance who’d received a settlement of $372,000 over her son’s death.

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“You’ve got somebody who’s coming from Section 8, never had a nickel to spend, and now she’s got $400,000,” Venniro told Peters when he complained a colleague was trying to steal the woman as a client. “What do you think’s going to happen with that money? It’s gone.”

Peters said when he objected, Venniro reiterated he should not pursue the woman as a client because she was going to blow the money.

After complaining he was being mistreated because he was Black, peters was first moved to a less wealthy branch, then eventually fired, the Post reported.

JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase employees were recorded by a Black customer and employee making racist comments. In this photo, the logo for the company appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

As the Times reported, research shows longstanding discrimination within the banking system. However, Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase said the incidents are not in line with the company’s culture.  

“This is not reflective of the culture I’ve seen at this company that champions opportunity, diversity and treating everyone with respect — but even one employee can hurt this culture, and we must call it out if we see it,” Wexler said.

Venniro no longer works at the company.