BISMARCK – 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) finalizing a rule today to address the issue of bank discrimination:
“Fairness matters. Discrimination is not allowed in our society and big banks should not be an exception. No matter how important their services are, they do not have the right to create de-facto bans on legal businesses like energy producers and gun manufacturers. I appreciate the good work done by the Trump Administration and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks who led the effort to get these sound, reasonable regulations finalized.”
Senator Cramer applauded the rule when it was proposed last November and has been actively working with Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks and members of the Trump Administration to get it over the finish line. The rule follows legislation Senator Cramer introduced in March of 2019 entitled the Freedom Financing Act, which ensures large financial institutions cannot deny services to certain constitutionally-protected industries if they are in full compliance with all laws and statutes.
According to OCC, the rule – which takes effect April 1 –codifies more than a decade of guidance stating banks should conduct risk assessment of individual customers, rather than make broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers, when provisioning access to services, capital, and credit. It applies to the largest banks with more than $100 billion in assets that may exert significant pricing power or influence over sectors of the national economy. Under the rule, banks still determine their product lines and geographic markets and are free to make legitimate business decisions about what and whom to serve.