FDIC’s McWilliams Writes to End Operation Choke Point
This week, outgoing FDIC Chairman and past AFSA Annual Meeting speaker Jelena McWilliams wrote a response letter to Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) regarding the measures her office has taken to remediate the effects of Operation Choke Point. AFSA commends Ms. McWilliams for the time and effort she and the FDIC have expended to end the ramifications of Operation Choke Point towards legitimate businesses, including state-licensed businesses.
In McWilliams’ letter, she reiterates, “lawful businesses should have access to financial services provided such activity is consistent with applicable safety and soundness principles.” Furthermore, during McWilliams’ tenure, the FDIC “encourages institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers…”
Last year, AFSA wrote in support of Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s (D-CO) SAFE Banking Act, which includes legislative language to end Operation Choke Point by prohibiting a federal regulator from ordering a bank to terminate a banking relationship with a legal business unless there is a valid reason, which is not based solely on reputational risk. The SAFE Banking Act has passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support five times over the last several years.
AFSA continues to urge Congress to pass legislation that would permanently end supervisory policies connected to Operation Choke Point.
February 2nd, 2022 by Dan Bucherer