Alliance Defending Freedom’s Jeremy Tedesco appeared on NTD News with a clear message: the recent trend of ideologically motivated debanking must stop.
“No American should have to worry about losing their bank account or being denied payment processing services just because of their religious or political beliefs,” Tedesco said.
Tedesco discussed JPMorgan Chase Bank’s recent decision to cancel the account of former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Sam Brownback’s nonprofit, National Committee for Religious Freedom’s (NCRF). After NCRF was debanked for no stated reason, it took weeks before Chase even provided Ambassador Brownback’s organization an initial rationale—which it later contradicted.
“When the pressure started to mount, JPMorgan Chase started providing rationales that made no sense at all,” Tedesco said. “And so it looked very much like they were just trying to cover over what was obvious political and viewpoint discrimination.”
Unfortunately, NCRF isn’t the only victim of Chase’s politicized debanking. In 2021 Chase’s subsidiary WePay initially denied ticket payment processing services for a mainstream Republican event hosted by the nonprofit Defense of Liberty. In the same year, Chase also initially terminated a credit card account connected to retired general Michael Flynn—until they caught public blowback—andWePay terminated payment processing services for the Arkansas Family Council.
And according to Tedesco, any person or organization can have their account suspended, for any reason under current terms of service held by major banking corporations.
“The banks don’t have to give you a reason for why they decline to do business with you,” Tedesco said. “And this is the problem. They have incredibly vague policies that allow them to debank you for whatever reason they want, including viewpoint, but then they can cover that up by never being honest with you about the reason you’re actually debanked.”
Some are beginning to call attention to the bank’s betrayal of public trust. On May 16, Chase shareholders will consider and vote on a shareholder resolution asking for transparency about their policies after the SEC denied Chase’s request to remove the item from the shareholder ballot. In a parallel decision, the SEC also denied PayPal’s attempt to exclude a similar shareholder resolution, allowing PayPal shareholders to consider the question at that corporation’s annual meeting.
The bottom line is that everyone should be concerned when banks engage in viewpoint discrimination against their users. Politicized debanking is bad for people of all political persuasions and a threat to a free society.
“Everybody understands at this point that social media companies have been weaponized in these political debates. The same thing is happening with the banks,” Tedesco said. “You have to have a bank account to live… It’s very important for every American citizen that our banks don’t fall to the same pressure that social media companies did.”
Watch the full interview here.