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Banks should support legal activities

This morning I ran across this article:

GOP split as banks take on gun industry – POLITICO (4/22/2018)

Major banks are cutting off business with the gun industry, roiling Republicans who want to respect the financial decisions of private institutions while still showing their unyielding support of the Second Amendment.Some Republicans, enraged at moves by Citigroup and Bank of America to distance themselves from some retailers and gun manufacturers, have called on government agencies to cancel contracts with the banks and defer deregulation proposals that would benefit them. But other Republicans want to keep their hands off, saying lenders are free to decide who they do business with.

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While I’m sympathetic to organizations taking matters into their own hands when our Congress has been hog tied by the extremist National Rifle Association leadership, I can’t support banks who refuse to provide banking services to any individual or business engaged in legal activities.

I say this as a resident of a state where recreational marijuana is legal, but our fledgling industry cannot get banking services – though this is mostly the result of continuing federal prohibition.

Banking is a necessity for businesses as much as air is for people. By deciding what activities they will fund and allow accounts for, banks are defacto legislating what sorts of businesses ought to be allowed in this country. I don’t think that’s a decision that should be left up to banks.

I should clarify that I’m talking about basic banking services – allowing accounts and the ability to qualify for loans on financial criteria. I don’t think any organization has a right to affinity cards if a bank doesn’t feel the organization shares the bank’s values.

We don’t need banks picking social winners and losers. We need responsible gun regulation including licensing and liability insurance.


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