DealBook Briefing: What Bank C.E.O.s Said to Congress

Bank chiefs talk regulation, Russia and recession

The C.E.O.s of seven huge American banks testified on Capitol Hill yesterday — the first time since 2009 that top Wall Street C.E.O.s have appeared en masse before Congress. Here’s how they responded to a grilling by House Democrats on a variety of issues.

Banking rules: The C.E.O.s argued that the financial system is much safer today than it was a decade ago, despite recent easing of regulations.

Russia: Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, James Gorman of Morgan Stanley and Mike Corbat of Citigroup all said they had reviewed their account holders for potential Russian money-laundering. Mr. Corbat was the only one to say he “could not comment on ongoing investigations.”

Guns: “JPMorgan has refused to adopt a policy to ensure responsible lending to the gun industry, even though you claim that client selection is important,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney. “Will you commit to adopting a formal policy that ensures responsible lending in your bank’s business with the gun industry?” Jamie Dimon responded that JPMorgan has “a very small relationship with gun manufacturers,” and added that he would be willing to consider adopting a formal policy. Mr. Gorman said Morgan Stanley had clamped down on doing business with gunmakers; Citi and Bank of America have already done so.

The economy: Asked about the biggest economic threat facing the U.S., Mr. Corbat answered, “Our ability to talk ourselves into the next recession.”

Diversity: Not one of the C.E.O.s thought that his successor would be a woman or a person of color.

More: Lloyd Blankfein, the former Goldman Sachs C.E.O. who testified at the 2009 hearing, tweeted yesterday, “Boy, I really miss my old job!!!

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