Forced Arbitration

Five of Wall Street’s Biggest Banks Called to Stop Hiding Behind Forced Arbitration

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) joined a consumer coalition to launch a petition against five of Wall Street’s biggest banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, and PNC Financial. The petition demands them to stop using forced arbitration against their customers.

JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, and PNC Financial bury forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of their customers’ terms and conditions, which means that if they cheat, steal from, or harass American consumers, the consumer is kicked out of court and instead funneled into a rigged forced arbitration system designed by Wall Street.

“With forced arbitration, Wall Street has granted itself a license to steal from Americans and evade the law,” said AAJ President Lisa Blue Baron. “It is time for Wall Street to honor the rights of its customers and stop using forced arbitration.”

In forced arbitration, the arbitrator is not required to have any legal training nor are they required to follow the law, but the decision is almost impossible to appeal.

There is very little a cheated customer can do to overcome forced arbitration because a series of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have wiped out the rights of small businesses and consumers to hold Wall Street accountable for almost any type of wrongdoing. These decisions dictate that state and federal judges are legally bound to deny Americans access to the civil justice system in the face of a properly worded forced arbitration clause. Similarly, state lawmakers can’t protect their citizens from this injustice because the Supreme Court decisions have prohibited states from enacting laws that restrain Wall Street’s ability to hide behind forced arbitration.

For years, cheated consumers were unaware that these hidden forced arbitration clauses caused them to surrender their right to resolve a dispute in court. Today’s petition puts these five banks on notice that their customers know that they engage in this abusive practice and are demanding that the banks restore American consumers’ access to the civil justice system.

To view and sign the petition, visit

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