Bill aims to choke off ‘Operation Choke Point,’ ordering agencies to justify account change requests

Legislation that would require federal banking agencies to provide banks or credit unions written justification of any request to terminate or restrict a customer’s account (except for national security) was passed by the House Monday.

The bill, H.R. 2706, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2017, passed 395-2; it heads now to the Senate for consideration.

The bill, according to its sponsors (including its author Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.)), was introduced in response to “Operation Choke Point,” an initiative of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

According to the House Financial Services Committee, the measure also requires the federal banking agencies to issue an annual report to Congress that describes the number of customer accounts the agency requested or caused to be closed and the legal authority on which the agency relied.

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