A recent column in the American Banker argues, for example, that Operation Choke Point (or some knock-on variation) has been leading banks to close the bank accounts of many churches and religious charities. One church’s lawyer speculates that the reason for her client’s account being closed is that it receives a large percentage of its contributions in cash. It is not clear whether this is specifically the result of the federal government’s Operation Choke Point or some similar state initiative.
In addition, last summer the FDIC retracted its “hit list” of suspect industries.
So where does this leave Operation Choke Point? The Washington Times (where I first came across the story) argues that it effectively ends Operation Choke Point. And if the FDIC guidance is taken at face value, that would seem to be the case–it hardly seems revolutionary for the FDIC to say that banks should determine whether to provide services based on the risk profile of each customer, not the “reputation risk” of entire industries. In that sense, it is just stating the obvious.