Bank CEOs will likely face social issue questions from Congress

Justin Ho May 26, 2021
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Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Bank CEOs will likely face social issue questions from Congress

Justin Ho May 26, 2021
Heard on:
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Bank CEOs will likely tell Congress about the role they played in helping the economy recover from the pandemic when they testify before the Senate on Wednesday and the House of Representatives on Thursday.

“They made extra small business loans, they showed forbearance with consumers,” said Mike Mayo, a bank analyst with Wells Fargo Securities. Wells Fargo’s CEO is scheduled to testify.

Mayo said banks may be questioned on social issues — for instance, whether they’re making progress on diversity in the boardroom and among employees.

“That’s where they’re exposed during the hearings, and that’s where they’re going to have to bring up some new efforts that they’ve made,” Mayo said. 

Another issue that could come up this week is the fact that bank lending has cooled.

Many businesses aren’t ready to start taking on new debt, said Nate Tobik, founder of Complete Bank Data. But there are some that could use a loan.

“There’s a lot of minority businesses that $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 gets them off the ground and running really well,” he said.

Tobik said lawmakers are likely to focus on whether bank loans are getting to the communities that need the capital.

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