October 21, 2020
Senate Bill Would Outlaw Bank Discrimination for the First Time
Democrats unveiled a proposal to close a loophole in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after a New York Times report on obstacles faced by customers.
Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation that would make it illegal for banks and other financial firms to discriminate against their customers because of their race, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics — an effort meant to close a loophole in the Civil Rights Act highlighted in a New York Times report in June.
The Fair Access to Financial Services Act, introduced on Wednesday by members of the Senate Banking Committee, would explicitly outlaw discrimination against bank customers. Currently, it is legal for banks and some other businesses to treat some customers differently as long as those customers eventually receive the services they are seeking. That means, in practical terms, that banks can racially profile their customers and delay their transactions, or ask them to take extra steps to prove their legitimacy, without risking penalties as long as they eventually do business with those customers.
Read the full article in the New York Times here.
New York Times