US banking giant, JP Morgan, has been involved in yet another racism scandal, according to The New York Times.

The publication obtained two recordings of two separate instances of racial profiling in its Arizona, Phoenix branches in US.

Kennedy was told he was essentially too black.

“When [Jimmy] Kennedy, [a former NFL player] tried to become a “private client” at JP Morgan Chase, an elite designation that would earn him travel discounts, exclusive event invitations and better deals on loans, he kept getting the run-around,” writes Emily Flitter.

At first, Kennedy didn’t understand why. Then, last fall, he showed up at his local JP Morgan branch in Arizona, and an employee offered an explanation.

“You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American,” the employee, Charles Belton, who is black, 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.”

Suggested reading: Being black in the financial services industry

Kennedy recorded the conversation and shared it with The New York Times. That was only one out of the two recordings obtained by the publication showing instances of racial discrimination by the US bank.


Kennedy was told he was essentially too black. His financial adviser, Ricardo Peters, complained that he, too, was a victim of racial discrimination.

“What makes their cases extraordinary is not that the two men say they faced discrimination. It is that they recorded their interactions with bank employees, preserving a record of what white executives otherwise might have dismissed as figments of the aggrieved parties’ imaginations,” writes Flitter.