Left-wing cancel culture has given birth to corporate cancel culture in recent years.  Activists want to weaponize financial regulators and banks to achieve their political agenda.  U.S. Representative Andy Barr (KY-06) fights back against this movement by leading the Fair Access to Banking Act.

Washington, D.C.– Today, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) introduced the Fair Access to Banking Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This legislation would codify the Fair Access Rule issued by former Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks in January, requiring banks to provide fair access to bank services, capital and credit.  U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), introduced this legislation in the U.S. Senate last week.

Environmental, gun control and a slew of other left-wing activists are attempting to weaponize financial regulation to choke off access to financial services for industries they despise.  Congressman Barr is fighting back against this new strain of cancel culture—corporate cancel culture—that would endanger the profitability and existence of lawfully operating businesses, such as fossil fuel businesses or gun manufacturers. 

“Banks should make lending decisions relying on objective, risk-based metrics, not the standards of woke corporate cancel culture,” said Congressman Barr.  “Our legislation codifies the Fair Access Rule to ensure that radical environmentalists, gun control advocates and other political activists cannot weaponize financial institutions in their fight to achieve their political agenda. I want to thank Senator Cramer for his partnership on this bill and Brian Brooks for his leadership in issuing the Fair Access Rule during his time as Acting Comptroller of the Currency.” 

“Fairness matters,” said Senator Kevin Cramer.  “There is no place in our society for discrimination, and big banks are no exception.  Financial service providers do not have the right to circumvent the Constitution or the law to create de-facto bans on legally-compliant businesses like energy producers or firearms manufacturers when they believe it is politically convenient.  Our legislation makes it illegal to do so and imposes serious consequences on those who choose to violate the law.” 

“The Kentucky Coal Association proudly supports efforts by Representative Barr to protect American businesses,” said Tyler White, President of the Kentucky Coal Association.  “Limiting access to capital by banks sets a dangerous precedent for many American businesses and their workers. We are thankful for the commonsense approach the Fair Access to Banking legislation aims to accomplish in the fight against cancel culture.

“Congressman Barr’s ‘Fair Access to Banking’ bill is vital to ensure financial services aren’t discriminating against lawful industries like the firearm industry to score points with the ‘woke’ cancel culture. This legislation will ensure financial institutions, when deciding whether or not to offer services to fully legal and lawful businesses, make such decisions based upon verifiable financial data and not on the political or social views of a few bank executives,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The banking industry has benefited from taxpayer bailouts and taxpayer-funded insurances, and it is unacceptable that these same banking institutions believe they can arbitrarily deny services to legal, constitutional businesses such as our industry, which gainfully employs millions of Americans and helps guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. The firearm industry thanks Representative Barr for his leadership to guarantee all legal and regulated American companies have fair and uniform access to financial services.”

“NAW members form the backbone of the United States economy.  As the link in the marketing chain between manufacturers and retailers as well as commercial, institutional, and governmental end users our members distribute nearly every single possible legal product to customers across the nation. Lawful businesses must be entitled to fair access to all financial services under the law, regardless of political controversies.  If banks are permitted to change their lending policies to discriminate based on personal or public opinion about certain industries, it will negatively impact entire product-line distributors and the general public. We thank Congressman Barr and the coalition for their efforts to find commonsense solutions to end banking discrimination against legal and regulated American businesses once and for all,” said Seth Waugh, Associate Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

Congressman Barr is an outspoken critic of the politicization of access to capital.  He led a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signed by over 40 colleagues raising concerns about injecting climate risk scenarios into financial supervision and warning of the adverse impacts on American industry of bringing ill-defined climate change metrics into financial regulation.  Congressman Barr also penned an op-ed CNBC published on the dangers politicizing financial regulation and pressed Chairman Powell on this issue in a House Financial Services Committee hearing in February.