Elizabeth Warren, Jamie Dimon Clash in Senate Hearing Viewed Over 750,000 Times

As part of a hearing held by the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Warren, a Democrat, grilled the chief executive officers of Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the four biggest banks in the U.S.

She asked the executives why none of their banks waived overdraft fees during the height of the pandemic in 2020—as unemployment hit a high of at least 14.7 percent in April—when the Federal Reserve offered them protections of their own.

"You and your colleagues come in today to talk about how you stepped up and took care of customers during the pandemic, and it's a bunch of baloney," Warren said at the start of the combative exchange on Wednesday. "In fact, it's about $4 billion worth of baloney. But you could fix that right now.

"Over the past year, you could've passed on the breaks that you got from the Fed to your customers, but you didn't do it.

"No matter how you try to spin it, this past year has shown that corporate profits are more important to your bank than offering just a little help to struggling families, even when we are in the middle of a worldwide crisis."

Warren then called Dimon the "star of the overdraft show" and claimed that his bank collected "more than seven times as much money overdraft fees per account" than its competitors.

"So, Mr Dimon, how much did JPMorgan collect in overdraft fees from their consumers in 2020?" Warren asked. "I think your numbers are totally inaccurate, but we'll have to sit down privately and go through that," Dimon replied.

"But these are public numbers," Warren shot back as the pair both attempted to speak. "Do you know the number?"

Dimon replied: "I don't have the number in front of me," as Warren said: "It's $1.46 billion."

The senator then asked Dimon, as well as the other CEOs, if he would consider refunding customers the overdraft fees collected during the pandemic. He said "no."

The exchange has been viewed more than 750,000 times on social media, as Warren posted the full clip to Twitter, as several media accounts also shared a shortened version of the video.

The big bank CEOs came to the Senate today to talk about how they stepped up and took care of customers during the pandemic – and I told them that’s a bunch of baloney. They nickel and dimed their struggling customers with overdraft fees to line their own pockets. pic.twitter.com/yKYwScMUs9

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 26, 2021

"The big bank CEOs came to the Senate today to talk about how they stepped up and took care of customers during the pandemic—and I told them that's a bunch of baloney. They nickel and dimed their struggling customers with overdraft fees to line their own pockets," she captioned the clip.

"Jamie Dimon is the star of the Overdraft Show. JPMorgan collects more than 7 times as much money in overdraft fees per account than their competitors. He tried to weasel his way out and said my numbers are inaccurate," Warren wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Twitter users showed their support for Warren on Wednesday evening, as one person wrote: "I love this woman!!" and another said: "Thank you, Senator Warren for calling out these banks."

A JPMorgan Chase spokesperson told Newsweek that while the $1.4 billion number is accurate, JPMorgan Chase does not charge overdraft fees on debit card transactions if the customer has a positive balance at the time they make the transaction, among other protections meant to help customers avoid overdraft fees.

"Last year, when customers said they were struggling, we waived fees on over 1 million deposit accounts, including overdraft fees, no questions asked," the spokesperson said.

In March 2020, during the pandemic, Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown introduced a bill to temporarily block overdraft fees, but it failed to pass.

Analysis from S&P Global showed that overdraft fees collected by banks rose by 64 percent in the second half of 2020 from a prior low in the second quarter of the year. Still, they were 24 percent lower year-on-year.

Newsweek has contacted Warren and JPMorgan Chase for comment.

Elizabeth Warren clashed about overdraft fees
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) holds a news conference to announce legislation that would tax the net worth of America's wealthiest individuals at the U.S. Capitol on March 01, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Warren clashed with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday about overdraft fees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images