U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposing a rule today to address the issue of bank discrimination:
“No matter who is being targeted, everyone should agree big banks should not use their outsized role in the economy, and public backing, to discriminate against perfectly legal businesses and industries. They do not have the right to choose winners and losers, or usurp the Constitution, just because the services they provide are important. This is good work by the Trump Administration, and I thank Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks for taking these steps. All interested citizens should offer their input on the proposal.”
In March of 2019, Senator Cramer introduced the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to ensure large financial institutions cannot deny services to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes.
According to OCC, the proposed rule would require a bank to make its services available to all customers in the markets it serves, based on consideration of objective, quantitative risk-based analysis by the bank. Under the proposal, banks shall not deny a customer any service the bank offers when the effect is to prevent, limit, or otherwise disadvantage the customer from entering or competing in a market or business segment or in a way that benefits another person or business interest. A bank’s decision to deny banking services to a customer based on an objective, quantifiable risk-based analysis of the customer’s creditworthiness, ability to pay, or eligibility would not violate the bank’s obligation to provide fair access.
The proposed rule will have a 45 day comment period.