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The Rise of Debanking in America

Is America still the land of the free?

Is the US quietly metastasizing into an anti-speech zone? The list of exhibits continues to grow: visits from the FBI over social media posts, people and companies canceled for espousing incorrect political opinions, and financial institutions participating in the debanking initiative over their clients’ politics. US officials are starting to take notice of the stealth war on conservative thinking in the marketplace.

States Observe Debanking

Fifteen financial officials representing 13 states penned a letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, alleging that the company is targeting conservatives. They slammed banking executives for exploiting “the divided political climate to engage in politicized de-banking,” purporting that these actions are “systemic drivers of religious and political bias” that might be ubiquitous in one of the country’s largest banks.

“Americans should never have to worry that their personal financial decisions will be weaponized against them,” Kentucky State Auditor Allison Ball said in a statement. “This practice has become all too common, and banks must urgently course correct to uphold their fiduciary duty and safeguard the constitutional freedoms of Americans.”

The letter alluded to several instances of the Bank of America shutting down accounts belonging to Christian organizations and leaders. However, in a statement to Fox News Digital, a company spokesperson called the complaints “absurd” because the business serves many non-profit religious entities. “Given the large number of nonprofits we serve that are affiliated with religious organizations, it’s absurd to think religious beliefs are a factor in any account closing decision. Very simply, they are not.”

Is it just a conspiracy theory, or are there really examples of conservatives falling victim to debanking?

Debanking Examples

According to the letter, Lance Wallnaur, a Christian author and preacher, had his bank account frozen for allegedly laundering money. The money was then unfrozen because of “invasive” questions surrounding his activities, but that’s not all.

Officials allege that Bank of America shuttered Indigenous Advance Ministries’ bank account, as well. This Christian charity helps at-risk children, sex trafficking victims, and prisoners in Uganda. The letter claims that accounts belonging to a Memphis-based church that donated to the organization were also closed. Additionally, the bank closed Timothy Two Project International’s account. This group trains pastors in about 65 nations and was ostensibly shuttered because it was “operating a business type we have chosen not to service.”

In a separate report, the Daily Caller reported that John Eastman, the ex-attorney for former President Donald Trump, was debanked twice by Bank of America and USAA. Eastman told the news outlet that his accounts were shut down because of his work with the real estate billionaire mogul surrounding the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, Liberty Nation has reported on other cases of right-wing or Christian non-profit organizations facing the ire of banks, from The National Committee for Religious Freedom to the Alliance Defending Freedom. “More recently, though, this disturbingly anti-freedom practice has affected faith-based organizations. Well, not just any faith-based groups, but specifically Christian nonprofits engaged in the protection of religious freedoms,” LN’s Graham Noble noted.

Debanking isn’t just an American problem, though.

In the United Kingdom, chief Brexiteer Nigel Farage launched a lawsuit against NatWest over the closure of his accounts at its private bank subsidiary Coutts. “For all their lies and deceptions towards me, and their illegitimate debanking of tens of thousands of innocent people, NatWest and its former CEO, Dame Alison Rose, need to be held to account,” the former Ukip leader stated.

In Canada, more than 800 bank account holders have been debanked since 2018 for reasons other than substantiated money laundering and terrorism claims, according to figures from Access to Information Records. The closures accelerated during and after the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests that saw 267 accounts and 170 Bitcoin wallets frozen, even among those who did not participate in the trucker demonstrations.

Freedom of Association?

Are banks required to do business with everyone? Should all depositors read the terms of service and the fine print? Can financial institutions discriminate against clients based on their political persuasion? The debate is a fascinating one. On the one hand, the freedom of association is a vital attribute of American society. Conversely, it is incredibly challenging not to possess a bank account in today’s economy, so being blacklisted in the financial system would likely force individuals to conform to politically accepted positions and comments. Whatever the case, imagine how much worse it could get once a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is introduced.

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