Just days before launching the results of the 2023 Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, the initiative was featured on front page of The Wall Street Journal.

The prime real estate in the Journal’s news section was then followed by an onslaught of articles covering this week’s release of the Business Index and David Bahnsen’s resolution calling on JPMorgan Chase to respond to the survey portion of the Index.

Here are some of the highlights from this week’s news coverage:

JPMorgan Targeted by Republican States Over Accusations of Religious Bias, The Wall Street Journal

This front-page news article highlights concerns from state officials and shareholders about Chase’s de-banking of Ambassador Sam Brownback of the National Committee for Religious Freedom and others over what appears to be political and anti-religious bias. The article, written by Jathon Sapsford, describes the Business Index as “a new tool…which allows investors to measure corporate respect for free speech and religious freedom.”

JPMorgan challenged by David Bahnsen over account cancellations: 'They are petrified', Fox Business

On “The Big Money Show”, Bahnsen emphasized that, as a shareholder at JPMorgan Chase for 14 years and manager of a firm that invested over $100 million in stock in the bank, he had every right to ask for an investigation of their behavior. According to Bahnsen, while the resolution didn’t pass, it succeeded in making Chase “petrified” of ideologically motivated de-banking in the future.

How to Fight the Politicization of Business, National Review

This op-ed by Bahnsen and Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and SVP of Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco underscores that the Business Index is not just a conservative version of ESG activism. Rather, Bahnsen’s efforts – and the Business Index’s benchmarks and model policies – are aimed to steer companies away from politics, and back towards their core purpose, which the two define as “creating excellent products and services that generate consistent profits and contribute to human flourishing.” As the article notes, shareholders like Bahnsen have a vested interest in helping their companies succeed.

‘Viewpoint Diversity’ Index Shows Most Large Companies Threaten The ‘Fundamental Freedoms’ Of Every American, The Daily Wire

Pointing out high-level findings from the Business Index, The Daily Wire also connects its release to the Bahnsen’s shareholder resolution, which reporter Ben Zeisloft rightly summarizes as “calling for the financial services behemoth to publish an evaluation of how executives oversee risks related to discrimination against clients for their religious and political views.”

IN-DEPTH: JPMorgan Chase Faces Backlash Over Alleged Discrimination Against Religious and Conservative Groups, The Epoch Times

Reporter Kevin Stocklin gives the timeline of events in NCRF’s de-banking, and quotes Tedesco on the gravity of politicized de-banking:

“The real damage is to civil society … When there’s a threat that a bank will debank you because of your religious or political beliefs, it chills people’s willingness to exercise their free speech and religious freedom rights, or to engage in the democratic process ... So banks have to take seriously the threat they pose by having these unbounded policies that allow them to do just that.”

Conservatives Lose Round on Alleged Viewpoint Discrimination at JPMorgan Chase, The Daily Signal

The Daily Signal’s story from Fred Lucas quotes Bahnsen on why his request that Chase participate in the survey portion of the Business Index would have been beneficial to the bank:

“If they were indeed as focused against religious and political discrimination as they have claimed, and as CEO Jamie Dimon reaffirmed this morning—if they are so sure that this not only is corporate policy, but is not happening at all—then a rather routine and I think inexpensive investigation in the grand scheme of things, that inquiry would have been very helpful.” 

19 Republican states accuse JPMorgan of closing bank accounts and discriminating against customers due to their religious or political beliefs, Business Insider

Business Insider covers a letter from 19 state attorneys general who cited the Business Index while calling on Chase to treat all customers equally despite their political and religious beliefs. The story, written by Ryan Hogg, recounts that Chase required Ambassador Brownback’s organization to disclose private information – including a list of its major donors – as a condition of having their account reopened, and includes the following statement from the attorneys general:

"The bank's brazen attempt to condition critical services on a customer passing some unarticulated religious or political litmus test flies in the face of Chase's antidiscrimination policies. Worse, it flies in the face of basic American values of fairness and equality."

Ahead of key shareholders meeting, JPMorgan Chase denies closing accounts over religious, political views, The Christian Post

The Christian Post references findings from Business Index that demonstrate several of America’s biggest financial companies hold policies that institution employees could use to de-bank and punish customers based on political and religious views. Reporter Ian M. Giatti includes a quote from Bahnsen on why it’s important for companies to correct course:

“The freedom to transact in the marketplace is a pretty fundamental freedom when it comes to all people’s quality of life … Companies that choose to discriminate against people by limiting their freedom in the marketplace because of their religious or political views are eradicating that quality of life and doing so systematically.”