At the end of April, the Department of Treasury announced a plan to study financial institution de-risking programs. Many pawnbrokers were affected by Operation Choke Point in 2013. Banking relationships that had lasted years ended with a 30-day termination letter in the mail. The overzealousness of de-risking to maintain regulations required in the Anti-Money Laundering Act left many small businesses struggling to find a new bank.
The Treasury Department’s plans include helping banks create a more transparent and more accessible financial system while not hampering the expensive costs of implementing Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism compliance.
Concerns over loss of banking access in low- and middle-income areas of the United States have generated interest among legislatures across the country. The NPA GRC team has been following banking discontinuance for the past ten years, with meetings attended at the OCC and FDIC. Banking relationships in a difficult economy are especially important to maintain. If there are any notices from banks about discontinuance, please contact the NPA. Team GRC has kept—and will continue to keep—this topic of high importance for our members.