Chase tells customers to stop splurging on coffee, draws criticism from officials

Posted at 1:09 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 15:09:08-04

JPMorgan Chase tried to give its customers a bit of “Monday motivation.” It backfired in spectacular fashion.

The largest bank in the United States deleted a tweet posted by its Chase Bank Twitter account Monday after several people — including Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren — criticized it as tone deaf.

The tweet depicted a hypothetical conversation between a customer and their bank account. Chase Bank tagged it with the hashtag “#MondayMotivation.”

“You: why is my balance so low

Bank account: make coffee at home

Bank account: eat the food that’s already in the fridge

Bank account: you don’t need a cab, it’s only three blocks

You: I guess we’ll never know

Bank account: seriously?”

The tweet drew ire from several people on the social media service, including Warren — a politician who frequently criticizes the country’s largest banks. In a response that mimicked the style of the original tweet, Warren called the bank out for receiving $25 billion in taxpayer money as part of a government bailout in 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis. The bank later repaid the Treasury.

Another critic: Freshman Rep. Katie Porter, a California Democrat who earlier this month pressed JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon over pay disparity.

“Hey @Chase, try paying your workers more,” Porter tweeted Monday. “Families aren’t spending frivolously; they’re trying to pay rent.”

During a testy back-and-forth in Congress this month, Porter shared the story of a JPMorgan Chase employee who is short more than $500 each month because her salary is insufficient to cover basic expenses. Dimon told her that he didn’t “know that all your numbers are accurate.”

Earlier this year, JPMorgan’s board of directors approved a $31 million pay package for Dimon for 2018 that included cash and stock awards. The bank reported a record $32.5 billion annual profit, buoyed by tax cuts and a healthy economy.

The Chase Bank Twitter account responded to the backlash Monday, saying, “Our #MondayMotivation is to get better at #MondayMotivation tweets. Thanks for the feedback Twitter world.”

The company did not immediately respond to a request from CNN Business for further comment. Dimon has in the past said he believes the US economy is “fundamentally anti-poor,” and his bank recently announced a $350 million program meant to help train workers, particularly low-income Americans.