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GOP bill takes on ESG banking rules to limit ‘woke’ investment decisions

Republican Representative Andy Barr has introduced a legislation titled “Fair Access to Banking Act” to prevent banks from denying fair access to financial services under the “woke corporate cancel culture” standards and prevent financial institutions from being weaponized for political purposes. The bill requires banks with more than $100 billion in consolidated assets to offer fair access to bank services, capital and credit, and provide written justifications for denying a person financial services. Additionally, it prohibits the banks from using discount window lending programs and requires them to furnish information on why financial services are being denied. The bill could also lead to penalties against credit unions that refuse to do business with any person in compliance with the law. This move comes in response to US banks and financial institutions allegedly using their economic position to exclude fossil energy and firearms industries, among others, from accessing services. Republicans have countered these ESG goals that more companies are taking on. Barr has over three dozen co-sponsors in the House, including House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, and the bill is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the Kentucky Coal Association, National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Blockchain Association.

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