April 16, 2021

Crapo, Colleagues Introduce Financial Institution Customer Protection Act

Legislation prevents businesses from being wrongfully targeted for holding different political beliefs than the Executive branch

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a longtime opponent of Operation Choke Point, and former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is taking additional steps to further his efforts to prohibit financial institutions from denying services to law-abiding businesses holding politically disfavored opinions.  He joined U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in introducing the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.  The bill would prohibit federal regulators from arbitrarily forcing bank institutions to terminate their relationships with legal businesses solely because the operations of the businesses are not in line with the views of the contemporaneous administration. 

“I have fought against Operation Choke Point for a number of years because of its fundamentally flawed and unfair targeting of certain industries,” said Senator Crapo.  “The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act furthers those efforts by ensuring federal banking agencies cannot formally or informally terminate a customer or group of customers without material, legitimate reasons to do so.  Terminating customers purely for political or reputational risk denies law-abiding individuals and companies from accessing the financial resources needed to fully participate in the economy.” 

Operation Choke Point was an initiative under the Obama Administration that allowed federal agencies to pressure banks to “choke-off” politically disfavored industries’ access to payment systems and banking services.  The issue was a major focus of oversight efforts while Senator Crapo served as Chairman of the Banking Committee.  

Additional co-sponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).  Full text of the bill is available HERE.