Banks Refusing Gun Industry Business Is ‘Troubling,’ CFPB Chief Says

(Bloomberg) -- Opting out of doing business with the firearms industry is “troubling” behavior from banking institutions, said Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, during a hearing on Thursday. But he said he has no desire to insert his bureau in the matter. 

“It looks like we’re heading towards red banks and blue banks,” Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said to Mulvaney after discussing recent policy changes by Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. which have restricted their business with firearms vendors and manufacturers.

In late March, Citigroup said it would impose restrictions on companies that sell firearms that use the bank to issue store credit cards and for lending. The restrictions included not selling bump stocks or any firearms to those under the age of 21. Earlier this week, Bank of America said it would stop lending to companies that manufacturer military-style firearms for civilian use. 

Following Citigroup’s announcement, Kennedy sent the company a letter seeking information on how the new policy will impact Louisiana, the state he represents. 

At Thursday’s hearing, Mulvaney said he doesn’t know “if there’s a role for the bureau in addressing” the decisions made by the banks. “I would be personally slow to want to get my bureau involved in telling companies what they must provide when it comes to matters like that,” he added. 

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