The Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee are calling on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to ensure that legal businesses have access to financial services after senior agency officials were revealed to have previously verbally directed staff to discourage banks from doing business with certain industries.
In a letter to FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, the Republican senators, led by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said that the issue reinforced the challenges of ending an Obama-era Justice Department policy, known as Operation Choke Point, which investigated banks that did business with firms that were disfavored by the administration but were legal, including firearms firms, pawn shops, and payday lenders.
“Operation Choke Point, and its associated culture and Choke Point-like regulatory actions, must end once and for all,” the senators wrote. “This abuse of government power is antithetical to the best interests of the banking industry, the U.S. economy, and the consumers who rely on banking products and services.”
Read more in American Banker.