Three Republican members of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services have sent letters to the heads of US banking regulatory agencies requesting information on possible coordinated action taken against digital asset companies. The letters are a continuation of others previously sent to the same addresses by legislators.
The letters, dated April 25, were addressed to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, Federal Reserve System Chairman Jerome Powell, and the Acting Comptroller of the Bureau of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Michael J. Hsu. The letters contained identical text with an individualized set of demands to see the agency’s records.
The letters began by recalling the Obama Administration’s alleged Operation Choke Point, which encouraged banks to deny service to certain types of businesses. And they continued:
“Today, we are seeing a resurgence of coordinated action by federal prudential regulators to suppress innovation in the United States. There is no clearer example than in the digital asset ecosystem.”
The authors of the letters cited the OCC’s interpretative letter 1179, the FDIC’s April 2022 letter, and the joint statement of the three agencies published in January as examples. Despite the “run-of-the-mill fraud” seen in the cryptocurrency sector, “digital asset activity is not inherently risky,” they state. Besides:
“Taken together, the actions of the Fed, FDIC, and OCC do not appear to be a reaction to recent events or the result of a sudden desire to protect financial institutions from risky behavior, but rather suggest a coordinated strategy to debank the ecosystem of digital assets in the United States”.
The authors, the republicans. Patrick McHenry, Bill Huizenga, and French Hill request non-public records regarding communications between employees of each of the named agencies and the institutions they oversee regarding the named documents.
Thank you! @PatrickMcHenry @RepFrenchHill @RepHuizenga This is a great step to bring transparency to the ongoing efforts to debank the digital asset ecosystem. @DigitalChamber brought our impacted members to the hill to talk about debanking last month. Conversations matter. https://t.co/RxW5g9MAvx
— Cody Carbone (@CodyCarboneDC) April 26, 2023
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