The following article is sponsored by Consumers Research.
Corporations typically focus on profits and not politics, but that isn’t the case for American Express. The 172-year-old credit card company is focused on pushing a political agenda while ignoring its dubious corporate track record.
The company has adopted an “Anti-Racism Initiative” designed to have “privileged” employees defer to “marginalized groups.” In training sessions, white employees were told to “identify the privileges or advantages you have.” Amex brought in Khalil Muhammad, who told Amex employees during training sessions that they should charge black customers lower premiums than white customers.
Multiple Amex employees have also alleged that the company has engaged in “reverse discrimination” and consistently wouldn’t promote white employees because they weren’t minorities. One employee was even told by a supervisor, “It would be advantageous and important for me to note that I am a minority when I apply for internal promotions.”
CEO Stephen Squeri has been behind many of these initiatives, launching a 2020 effort that includes spending $1 billion to promote “Racial, Ethnic and Gender Equity.” Squeri has also spoken against climate change and participated in the corporate pile-on against Georgia’s election integrity legislation. Amex’s very public progressive agenda belies a pattern of corporate misconduct records indicate.
Multiple federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, have investigated Amex for certain sales practices, including issuing phantom credit cards. Additionally, Amex had to pay $112 million in fines because it deceptively strong-armed its customers into paying illegal late fees.
In a repudiation of Amex’s supposed commitment to diversity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that Amex discriminated “against consumers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories by providing them with less-favorable financial products and services.” Amex was forced to pay these customers $96 million.
There have also been serious questions about Amex’s lax business practices, which have enabled criminals to move their money through the company. In one case, an Amex subsidiary provided an engineer who was allegedly part of a black market nuclear network with credit cards. In another instance, the Department of Justice fined Amex $65 million because its money laundering detection program “had serious and systemic deficiencies.”