Bank CEOs to Go Before Congress, With Economy and High Inflation in Focus


WASHINGTON—The heads of seven of the largest U.S. banks are set to face questions from Congress on hot-button issues including money-transfer scams, the state of the U.S. economy and a credit- and debit-card code that identifies when purchases are made at firearms stores.  

Bank chief executives, including

JPMorgan Chase


JPM -0.74%

& Co.’s

Jamie Dimon,

Citigroup Inc.’s


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Jane Fraser

and

Wells Fargo


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& Co.’s

Charles Scharf,

plan to offer a favorable picture of an industry they say helped the economy recover from a pandemic-induced recession, according to prepared remarks. Two days of hearings start Wednesday.

Mr. Dimon is expected to warn about competing forces affecting the economy. They include strong consumer spending and plentiful job openings amid high inflation, disrupted supply chains, the war in Ukraine and declining consumer confidence.

“While these storm clouds build on the horizon, even the best and brightest economists are split as to whether these could evolve into a major economic storm or something much less severe,” Mr. Dimon is expected to say, according to prepared remarks released ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

Democratic lawmakers who lead bank-oversight committees will likely press the executives on how the banks plan to support consumers at a time of high inflation and rising interest rates.

“We will continue to hold the nation’s biggest banks accountable so that Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money—at a time that they need it most,” Sen.

Sherrod Brown

(D., Ohio) said in a written statement. Mr. Brown is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

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The hearings are to mark the third time since 2019 that the chief executives of major banks have appeared together before U.S. lawmakers. The executives are to first appear Wednesday at a hearing hosted by Rep.

Maxine Waters

(D., Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services panel. They are to appear in the Senate on Thursday.

The executives will likely face questions on a range of policy issues, from racial equity and climate change to overdraft fees, mergers with other banks and the health of the economy, among other topics.

Some of the issues Democrats are expected to query the executives on include diversity issues, executive compensation and scams on money-transfer services such as Zelle and Venmo.

Republican lawmakers, typically allies for financial firms, have lately criticized banks for taking what they view as liberal-leaning stances on policy issues. The GOP lawmakers are expected to ask about banks’ policies related to abortion and a recent plan by credit-card companies to add a new code to identify when purchases are made at firearms retailers.

“Americans deserve to hear how these banks will support their customers through troubling economic headwinds…instead of far-left talking points to appease progressive activists,” said North Carolina Rep.

Patrick McHenry,

the ranking GOP member on the House financial-services panel, in a written statement.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank must continue raising rates until it is confident inflation is under control. He spoke at the Kansas City Fed’s annual symposium in Wyoming. Photo: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Write to Andrew Ackerman at andrew.ackerman@wsj.com

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