Removing Barriers Blog

Letter to House in Support of H.R. 766, to Limit Operation Choke Point
Posted February 02, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Today, we sent all members of the House of Representatives a letter in support of H.R. 766, the “Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015,” as the House takes up the legislation this week. H.R. 766 would place certain limits on the federal government’s so-called “Operation Choke Point”. While we strongly support the government’s role in ensuring the integrity of financial markets and eliminating fraud, the program’s broad enforcement tactics could create unnecessary risks to consumers and to the economy. 

The legislation would limit Federal banking regulators’ ability to discourage or restrict depository institutions from entering into or maintaining a financial services relationship with specific customers unless certain criteria are met. The legislation would also limit regulators’ ability to pressure financial institutions to terminate customer accounts, requiring regulators to have a material reason for termination that is not based solely on the reputational risk posed by the customer before pressuring the financial institution to close the account.

Since CUs are committed to maintaining the ability to serve their members while strictly following all laws and governing regulations, we believe H.R. 766 is a reasonable approach to preventing fraud and maintaining financial integrity without overreaching. We appreciate Representative Luetkemeyer’s leadership this piece of legislation and encourage all House members to vote for it.