An obscure federal agency has issued a new rule that the gun industry is celebrating. The only question now is whether the incoming Biden administration will reverse it.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Thursday finalized a controversial rule banning large banks from rejecting businesses based on their industry.
The move comes less than two months after the agency first proposed the regulations.
The rule makes it illegal for any bank regulated by the OCC with more than $100 billion in assets to reject a customer for reasons other than financial risk. Supporters and critics of the rule both say it is intended to prevent more banks from joining those who’ve stopped serving firearm companies and financing oil and gas drilling projects.
In other words, the OCC’s rule is aimed at preventing corporations run by left-wing ‘woke’ CEOs from denying services to industries who make or develop products and/or commodities that upset their sensibilities and consciences.
“As Comptrollers and staff in previous administrations have made clear in speeches, guidance, and testimony, banks should not terminate services to entire categories of customers without conducting individual risk assessments,” said Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, who announced Wednesday he will leave the agency on Thursday.
“It is inconsistent with basic principles of prudent risk management to make decisions based solely on conclusory or categorical assertions of risk without actual analysis. Moreover, elected officials should determine what is legal and illegal in our country,” he said.
Bearing Arms adds some context:
The firearms industry has already been subjected to this kind of discrimination for several years, with Citibank and Bank of America among a number of large financial institutions that have declared they won’t provide certain services to companies within the industry. Under the new rule, these banks could still do so, but only if there are genuine financial concerns with the company’s bottom line instead of the company’s product or service.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a pro-gun industry advocate, applauded the rule because it should help end discriminatory practices (imagine a large bank refusing to serve a minority-owned business or industry, for any reason).
“NSSF has championed fair access to financial services for the firearm and ammunition industry and is pleased to witness the end of unfair and politically-motivated discriminatory practices by banking institutions that have a legal duty to service all legal businesses,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
“This rule will ensure large financial institutions that are supported by taxpayer-funded resources like insurances must provide fair and equal access to services based on their objective financial creditworthiness, and not based on ‘woke’ political considerations.”
Maybe. And maybe not.
President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated in about five days, and we know he has surrounded himself with anti-gun leftist zealots, all of whom are protected by men and women with guns.
We also have seen the rise of the cancel culture, where the Marxist left pressures their woke CEO allies (big tech comes to mind) to punish disfavored groups and industries.
Time will tell, but we’ll be keeping an eye on this.