NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> told employees on Tuesday it is changing its customer complaint system and how staff choose which customers are eligible for certain banking products after the New York Times reported allegations of racial discrimination against black customers at the bank last year.
The reports prompted the bank to “look at how we do business so that we could gain a deeper understanding of what more we can do to root out racism and discrimination,” co-Chief Executives Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto wrote in a memo sent to the bank’s staff seen by Reuters and verified by a bank spokesman.
In December, the New York Times reported instances of racial discrimination at the bank’s branches in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, citing audio recordings made by a bank employee and a customer as evidence.
“We are looking across the whole firm and at everything we do. We’ve identified a number of areas that, with enhanced, scaled or new programming or processes, would serve to improve our culture in important ways,” Smith and Pinto wrote.
The bank will simplify the process through which employees file customer complaints and flag serious concerns to senior management.
It is also re-evaluating the qualification requirements for new products and benefits and will strengthen tools bank managers use to monitor employees who have discretion over which customers get access to certain products and benefits.
The bank also committed to recruiting more diverse staff and said it will expand assessment programs for managers that evaluate how successfully they recruit for and hire diverse employees in management.
(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Dan Grebler)