Allum Bokhari, Breitbart, December 13, 2020
The financial blacklisting of businesses and individuals for political reasons has increased dramatically over the past half-decade, but a new rule from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency may be about to change that.
The basis of the rule (still in draft form) is that it will prohibit major banks from discriminating against someone based on non-financial reasons — including political viewpoint.
The draft rule is currently open for public comments through Regulations.gov
The political left has, with varying levels of success, sought to financially blacklist certain businesses and industries in recent years.
If the OCC rule is implemented in its current form, this attempt to have banks enforce the policies of the far-left will become much more difficult.
Specifically, it states that major banks may “Not deny any person a financial service the bank offers except to the extent justified by such person’s quantified and documented failure to meet quantitative, impartial risk-based standards established in advance by the covered bank.”
“No matter what type of business you are dealing with, you have to exercise some sound judgment, conduct your due diligence, and evaluate customers individually,” states the official explanation of the rule in the federal registrar.
The rule states that banks and other financial institutions that have turned away customers due to alleged “risk” must do more due diligence rather than practicing “total avoidance:”
The rule also cites examples of activists pressuring financial institutions to withdraw service from businesses, and sometimes entire industries, for political reasons. It specifically cites the case of private prisons and some gun manufacturers losing their access to banking services:
The trend of political actions by financial services companies has become so severe that even liberal organizations have raised the alarm about it. In 2018, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned that banks and online payment processors are becoming “de facto internet censors.”