Politicized banking is a real threat, and it’s on the rise. But together, we’re pushing back.
That’s the message Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom and Ambassador Sam Brownback of the National Committee for Religious Freedom delivered in a recently published op-ed at Newsweek.
In their co-authored piece, Tedesco and Ambassador Brownback call attention to the “Statement on Debanking and Free Speech,” which was signed by financial professionals managing $20 billion in assets and delivered to the CEOs of over 50 major financial institutions.
The statement—which included five signatories from the Viewpoint Diversity Score Advisory Council—calls upon banking CEOs to reverse the dangerous trend of politically motivated debanking, and to make good on their commitment to transparency by participating in the survey portion of the 2023 Business Index.
As Tedesco and Ambassador Brownback point out, financial institutions have a duty to respect shareholders, customers, and employees who hold a wide range of views on hot-button cultural issues, but if they’re unwilling to exercise that responsibility on their own, it may soon fall to federal and state lawmakers to take action.
“If companies don’t voluntarily take steps to curb viewpoint discrimination in their services, they invite regulatory scrutiny,” they warn. “Some states are already considering legislation that would crack down on the debanking of ideologically disfavored industries, people, and groups. Large national banks receive wide-reaching government benefits such as greater lending power, FDIC insurance rates, subsidies, bailouts, and an anticompetitive chartering system. That banks receive these courtesy of the government and taxpayers . And the danger that these benefits might be taken away gives financial institutions good reason to end their risky entanglement with fringe activism and cancel culture.”
Read the piece here.