Rep. Luetkemeyer's bill would create a new safe harbor for financial institutions, including community banks. It aims to promote nondiscriminatory access to financial products and services provided the merchant is licensed, registered as a money services business, or has obtained a reasoned legal opinion demonstrating the legality of its business. Notably, the safe harbor does not require a financial institution to do business with any merchant and does not place the burden of determining the legality of business with the financial institution.
The legislation also seeks to rein in the DOJ's over-aggressive subpoena authority by changing the manner in which it can seek a subpoena under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.
Additionally, the legislation promotes cooperation between banks and law enforcement to enable law enforcement to exercise its responsibility to prosecute illegal wrongdoing directly against the perpetrators of that wrongdoing, instead of taking action that results in cutting off bank services to legal businesses.
To see Fine's most recent commentary on the
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