Senator Reverend Warnock, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Fight Discrimination from Financial Institutions

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a member of the Senate Banking Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, along with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), introduced the Fair Access to Financial Services Act, a bill to prohibit banks and other financial institutions from discrimination in providing goods or services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The legislation would ensure that all people receive equal treatment when trying to access services at financial institutions, and hold these institutions accountable for discriminatory practices. 

“In 2022, no American should ever have to worry about being discriminated against when trying to open a bank account, getting a mortgage, or starting a small business. I am proud to sponsor this legislation that will ensure banks and other financial institutions never discriminate Americans from participating in our economy,” said Senator Reverend Warnock.

Many of the nation’s largest banks have come under fire recently for discriminatory practices. JP Morgan Chase Bank is being sued for refusing to open a bank account for a Black customer late last year. Bank of America recently apologized to film director Ryan Coogler after wrongfully calling the police when he attempted to make a withdrawal. Wells Fargo came under scrutiny earlier this year for discriminatory practices with respect to refinancing applications in 2020. 

Senator Warnock has long been an advocate for Georgia consumers. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, Senator Warnock has held hearings that examined the financial services industry’s practices regarding overdraft fees and the effects those fees have on hardworking families as well as on the role of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) play in our economy. 

Senator Warnock has introduced a bill to prohibit forced arbitration, worked to end misleading subscription practices, called out predatory scams as we recover from the pandemic, and pushed for banks to address fraud on their mobile apps. 

The bill text can be found here.