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Republicans Block Amendment to Rein in Bank Offshoring, While Passing Another Sweetheart Deal for Banking Industry

Rep. Mark Pocan’s Amendment to “Bank Lobbyist Act” Follows Recent CWA Report Detailing Growing Trend of Bank Offshoring
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a bank deregulation that will roll back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank safeguards put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. The legislation, also known as the “Bank Lobbyist Act,” is the latest in a string of rewards for the banking industry delivered by this Congress. Meanwhile, Republicans blocked from consideration an amendment proposed by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) that would have helped rein in the growing trend of big banks offshoring American jobs – a trend that is set to be accelerated by the Republicans’ tax bill from last December.

A recent report from CWA and the Committee for Better Banks detailed numerous examples of how major banks have been laying off American workers while ramping up operations overseas and exploiting workers in low-wage countries. Despite the offshoring practices detailed in the report, and the financial windfall the banking industry is set to gain as a result of the Republicans’ December 2017 “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” there is no movement from the big banks to return jobs from overseas. In fact, leading analysts believe that the GOP tax bill actually will encourage the additional offshoring of American jobs. For example, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessed that the Republicans’ tax bill will provide new incentives for corporations to offshore even more jobs by creating new tax rewards for profits made overseas.

Rep. Pocan’s amendment would have ensured that any financial institutions that have outsourced more than 50 jobs in any year over the past five years would be ineligible for some of the deregulatory provisions in the new legislation and would remain subject to stricter federal oversight. House Republican leaders’ blockage of the Pocan amendment from consideration follows Senate Republican’s earlier rejection of a similar amendment proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during debate of the bill in the Senate. This latest effort follows a letter sent by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Democrat of the Senate Banking Committee, to several of the nation’s largest banks urging them to return offshored work to the U.S. due to their large windfall from the new tax cuts.

House Republicans also blocked the House from even considering another amendment offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.-05) that would have prevented deregulation of big banks that use predatory sales goals and quotas like those that drove the Wells Fargo fake account scandal in setting employee compensation.

According to Shane Larson, Legislative Director of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), “Republicans keep passing sweetheart legislation for banks while refusing to allow any debate or votes on provisions to slow down or prevent these banks from shipping more and more American jobs all around the world. Through their support for rolling back Dodd-Frank, shifting the tax code to benefit big Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo and by their refusal to even hold these big banks accountable for their massive offshoring of American jobs and ongoing scandals and consumer abuses, Republicans have once again given Wall Street and major banks a blank check to continue their exploitation of American workers and consumers.”

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