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House Financial Services Committee Democrats Oppose Fair Access…

At the end of the year and the 116th Congress, 22 Democrat members of the House Financial Services Committee and Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., urged the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to withdraw a proposed rule that would ensure fair access to banking services for several industries—including debt collection—previously cut off during the controversial Obama-era program Operation Choke Point.

Waters and the members of the committee argue the proposed rule would “increase systemic risks to the financial system” and focus on industries including fossil fuels and gun manufacturers. The letter from the committee to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks notes the committee also asked the OCC to delay rulemakings unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Far from addressing systemic risks among larger banks, however, this proposal would undermine, not protect, the safety and soundness of the banking system in crucial ways. Firstly, the proposed rule would prohibit banks from depriving certain services to entire sectors, requiring banks to provide the fossil fuel industry with access even to risky and complicated products,” the letter states.

The OCC proposal would codify more than a decade of OCC guidance stating that banks should provide access to services, capital and credit based on the risk assessment of individual customers, rather than broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers, ACA International previously reported.

ACA submitted comments on the proposed rule outlining how members continue to see their banking relationships terminated without notice or cause. The comments support efforts by the OCC to clarify the obligation of large banks to provide fair access to financial services for legal entities consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act.

Read More: House Financial Services Committee Democrats Oppose Fair Access…

2021-01-04 16:29:43

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