Through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Trump administration proposed new guidelines that would prevent the banking industry from discriminating against American businesses based on ideological differences.
This form of discrimination largely affected conservative-leaning establishments, especially gun-related businesses and energy companies. Such businesses were de-banked following the Obama-era policy that sought to enact unconstitutional political control on the country's financial institutions.
The Operation Choke Point (OCP) categorized firearm businesses as a "high risk" under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The operation gave power to the "government bureaucrats to shut down arbitrarily whole classes of businesses they deem to be 'politically incorrect,' according to Forbes.
Surprisingly, gun-related businesses were categorized as a high risk not because of their poor creditworthiness but because of their "reputation." The Obama administration came up with a "reputation risk" for otherwise financially sound businesses that did not bend over backwards to the leftist ideology.
Ironically, the "bad reputation" did not originate from the American citizens, but rather the mainstream media and the Left's demonization of the defense industry.
Banks were intimidated and bullied from doing business with such "unreputable" organizations.
The Obama administration later directed the financial institutions to deal with businesses individually after Congress investigators discovered violations.
However, that did not ease the prejudice against firearm businesses, and discrimination against such establishments became the financial institutions' modus operandi to date.
The OCC found that in 2019 and 2020, major banks had ceased providing services to major energy companies. This discovery was after the Alaska Congressional delegation complained about the banks' refusal to offer financial services to gas and oil projects in the Arctic.
The OCC also acknowledged that "makers of shotguns and hunting rifles have reportedly been de-banked in recent years."
The office says that such actions are "based on criteria unrelated to safe and sound banking practices" and are inconsistent with the bank's legal responsibility to provide fair access to financial services.
Additionally, the OCC notes that such actions are not and "cannot serve as a legitimate basis for refusing to grant a person or entity access to financial services."
In response, the OCC proposed a regulation that clarifies banks' obligation to provide fair access to financial services. The regulation would also set the parameters to allow fair access to financial services so that banks cannot arbitrarily deny financial services to qualifying businesses.
Under the right circumstances, the OCC can also force action and take supervisory or enforcement action. It took long enough for somebody to step in and reign in the rogue banks that had become Leftists' proxies for gun control.
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