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Old 03-23-2019, 02:51 PM
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Default Cramer bill would penalize big banks that turn away gun industry

FINANCE & TAX
Cramer bill would penalize big banks that turn away gun industry
By ZACHARY WARMBRODT 03/21/2019 09:33 AM EDT

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/...dustry-1230615

Sen. Kevin Cramer is introducing legislation designed to discourage big banks from cutting off the firearms industry, the latest response to moves by lenders such as Citigroup and Bank of America that have distanced themselves from the gun business.

The North Dakota Republican's “Freedom Financing Act” would curb banks' access to loans from the Federal Reserve’s discount window if they refused to serve legal firearms businesses for reasons outside of "traditional" underwriting.

The bill would also restrict payment card networks from declining to serve the industry because of political or reputational concerns.

“A small number of banks controlling most of the financial sector could effectively illegalize legal commerce by refusing to finance certain industries or process certain transactions,” Cramer said. “Look no further than pro-Second Amendment industries where such discrimination has already occurred. Big banks should not be the arbiters of constitutionality.”

Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill, said the legislation would "ban big banks from refusing to do business with customers that may not share the same political values as the bank.”

Cramer and Kennedy are members of the Senate Banking Committee, where Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) has also made clear he has concerns about lenders cutting off the gun industry.

The Cramer proposal would exempt financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.



Sen. Kevin Cramer's “Freedom Financing Act” would curb banks' access to loans from the Federal Reserve’s discount window if they refused to serve legal firearms businesses for reasons outside of "traditional" underwriting. | Drew Angerer/ Getty Images
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