Collector - April 2021 - 38

GOVERNMENTAFFAIRS

fair access rule would cause systemic risks
to the financial system and discourage
" corporate social responsibility. "
In January, the OCC said that pausing
the rule will allow the next confirmed
comptroller to review the rule. However,
it is possible it could be put on a shelf
and not move forward after a changing
of the guard.

THE FUTURE OF ACCESS
TO BANKING
While the OCC rule may ultimately
have limited teeth under new leadership
at the agency, it still sends a message to
banks that there are many stakeholders
who do not believe they should be
engaging in categorical discrimination,
but instead should be making individual
risk-based decisions. It remains to be

seen exactly how the new administration
and the new bank regulators will take
on these issues, but we know banking
relationships and banks' political
activity have become a hot topic in
recent months.
It also appears that supporting cannabis
businesses and their banking relationships
is a bipartisan priority among many
members of Congress and administration
appointees, including U.S. Rep. Ed
Perlmutter D-Colo., chairman of the
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and
Financial Institutions.
This presents an interesting question
since this issue intersected with broader
banking relationship protections in
the 116th Congress. It is expected that
Congress will once again introduce
legislation guarding against Operation

Quality Management System

Choke Point but, based on the letter from
House Financial Services Committee
Democrats, it appears this legislation could
have an uphill battle unless tied to an issue
like cannabis banking.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE
THE ARM INDUSTRY?
There has not yet been any indication that
Operation Choke Point's broad program,
which impacted dozens of members
at a time, will return in its full form.
Nevertheless, ACA remains vigilant where
instances of unfair banking terminations
arise and is continuing to educate
members of Congress and regulators about
why this activity is problematic.
Leah Dempsey is ACA International's vice
president and senior counsel, federal advocacy.

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