Tommy Tuberville, Katie Britt join Kevin Cramer and colleagues to introduce Fair Access to Banking Act

Second Amendment

U.S. Senators Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt joined Sen. Kevin Cramer and 35 of their Senate colleagues to introduce the Fair Access to Banking Act, a bill to protect fair access to financial services by preventing banks and financial institutions from discriminating against law-abiding businesses. The legislation would bar financial institutions from refusing or limiting banking services for political purposes.

“Banks should make lending decisions based solely on economic factors – not woke political concerns,” said Sen. Tuberville. “Big banks are bowing to pressure from woke activists who oppose loans being given to businesses that don’t fall in line with the left’s agenda. No financial institution should be pressured to cut off lending to a legitimate business. Financial discrimination is un-American and unacceptable. I’m proud to support the Fair Banking Act to push back against attempts to weaponize the banking sector for political reasons.”

“There is no place in our society for discrimination, and big banks and financial institutions are no exception,” said Sen. Cramer. “The Biden administration and their liberal base are weaponizing the financial system to defund, debank, or discredit industries they do not like. It is fundamentally unfair. Our bill imposes serious consequences for discriminatory decisions or de facto bans of legal industries.”


The purpose of the Fair Access to Banking Act is to protect fair access to financial services and to ensure banks operate in a safe and sound manner, basing their judgments and decisions on impartial, individualized risk-based analysis developed through empirical data and evaluated under quantifiable standards. If enacted, this bill would:

·       Penalize banks and credit unions with over $10 billion in total consolidated assets, or their subsidiaries, if they refuse to do business with any legally-compliant person who meets the criteria described above.

·       Prevent payment card networks from discriminating against any qualified and legally-compliant person because of political or reputational considerations.

·       Codify the core requirements found in the Trump Administration’s Fair Access Final Rule;

·       Require qualified banks to provide written justification for why they are denying a person financial services; and

·       Punish providers who fail to comply with the law by disqualifying them from using discount window lending programs, terminating their status as an insured depository institution or insured credit union, or imposing a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.

Sen. Cramer’s legislation is in response to United States banks and financial institutions increasingly using their economic standing to categorically discriminate against legal industries.

There are a number of examples of banking discrimination happening in recent years:

·       In 2018, Citigroup instituted a policy to withhold project-related financing for coal plants

·       In 2020, five of the country’s largest banks announced they would not provide loans or credit to support oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite explicit congressional authorization.

·       Such exclusionary practices extend to industries protected by the Second Amendment too, with Capital One, among other banks, including “ammunitions, firearms, or firearm parts” in the prohibited payments section of its corporate policy manual, and payment services like Apple Pay and PayPal denying their services for transactions involving firearms or ammunition.

·       In Alabama, a number of banks and underwriters backed out of financing Gov. Ivey’s plan to build new megaprisons due to political concerns and pressure from woke anti law and order activists. The problems getting financing for the project forced Gov. Ivey to go to the state legislature to pursue a bond issue, delayed the project by two years, and greatly increased the cost of the project.

In response to these developments, the Trump Administration created the Fair Access Rule – which Sen. Cramer helped craft and is codified in this legislation – to prevent these examples and other acts of discrimination, but the rule’s implementation has since been paused under President Joe Biden. This legislation also expands on the Freedom Financing Act, which was one of the first bills Cramer introduced when he joined the Senate in 2019.

The bill is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), National Rifle Association (NRA), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), National Mining Association (NMA), National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and the Day 1 Alliance.

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