Jamie Dimon defended the wages of his bank’s lowest-paid employees after being criticized by a lawmaker earlier this week.

The chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank, pushed back on questions in a call with journalists, asking reporters from the New York Times and CNBC how much their publications pay entry-level workers and saying the banking industry likely pays more than the U.S. government.

“We take very good care of our entry-level jobs: US$35,000 to US$37,000 per year, medical, retirement,” he said. “When you’re looking at wages, you better look around at other people. The banking industry is pretty good.”

Representative Katie Porter, a first-term Democrat from California, asked Dimon at a hearing on Wednesday about a minimum-wage employee at JPMorgan who couldn’t cover her monthly expenses. Dimon said he was sympathetic but would have to think about how the employee could get by on that salary. He pointed out that was for an entry-level job that often goes to high school graduates, and the bank offers opportunities for promotions.

Minimum wages at major companies have been under the spotlight, as Jeff Bezos this week called on retailers to match or beat Amazon.com Inc.’s pledge to boost pay to at least US$15 an hour.

JPMorgan pays a minimum wage of US$16.50, with that rising to US$18 in major cities, Dimon said Friday. Bank of America Corp. announced the day before the hearing that it will raise its minimum wage to US$17 next month and US$20 in 2021.

JPMorgan on Friday reported record quarterly profit of US$9.18 billion. The firm had US$8.94 billion of compensation expenses in the period.