Online Lenders Alliance applauds bipartisan passage of H.R. 2706 The Financial Institutions Consumer Protection Act of 2017 by the House Financial Services Committee
Legislation to end Operation Choke Point.
WASHINGTON, DC, October 12, 2017 – By a vote of 59 to 1, the House Financial Services Committee today passed H.R. 2706, The Financial Institutions Consumer Protection Act of 2017 introduced by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. This legislation passed the Committee with broad bipartisan support, and represents an important step towards ensuring that the federal banking system will no longer be used as a political tool to target businesses. These practices came to light when a multi-agency effort devised under the Obama administration called Operation Choke Point was uncovered. This initiative’s goal was to deny licensed, legitimate businesses access to the federal banking system simply because some in the Obama administration deemed these businesses to be unacceptable.
H.R. 2706 The Financial Institutions Consumer Protection Act of 2017 would:
Prohibit a federal banking agency from directing a depository institution to terminate an account, absent a material reason. requires a federal banking agency to provide a depository institution written justification of any request to terminate or restrict a customer account, except in instances of national security. The bill also requires the federal banking agencies to issue an annual report to Congress that describes the number of customer accounts the agency requested or caused to be closed and the legal authority on which the agency relied.
Commenting on the committee’s actions, President and CEO of the Online Lenders Alliance Lisa McGreevy stated,
“By passing this legislation the Committee has sent a clear message that it is no longer acceptable to play politics with banking services. I want to commend Congressman Luetkemeyer for introducing H.R. 2706 and applaud his leadership in helping to end these practices. With the committee’s actions today, banking regulators and examiners will no longer be able to intimidate banks from working with lawful companies. I want to commend the Financial Services Committee Members on both sides of the aisle for passing this important legislation. The adoption of H.R. 2706 will ensure that relationships in the banking system are business decisions – nothing else. We already have consumer protections, safety and soundness standards regulating the industry, and there should not be a political litmus test as well. I would encourage the full house to take up and pass this legislation quickly.”
The legislation now heads to the House floor, where it is expecting to receive strong bipartisan support.
The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) is the center for lending, technology and innovation, representing the growing industry of companies offering loans online. OLA members abide by a rigorous set of Best Practices and Code of Conduct to ensure their customers are fully informed and fairly treated.