“I will offer a few examples of the damage that Operation Choke Point has already done to the short-term credit industry. One lender, Advance America, has lost longstanding and positive business relationships with at least nine banks as a result of Operation Choke Point. Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank informed Advance America of their intention to close its accounts on the ground that they were “unable to effectively manage [the lenders’] Account(s) on a level consistent with the heightened scrutiny required by [their] regulators . . . .” Fifth Third Bank wrote that it would stop doing business with short-term credit providers altogether on the ground that the entire industry is “outside of [its] risk tolerance.” Synovus Bank and Umpqua Bank likewise terminated Advance America’s accounts. At least two of Advance America’s banks expressed regret and explained that the service terminations were the result of pressure from their prudential regulator. Cadence Bank also terminated Advance America’s accounts without explanation. Advance America has not been able to find local banks to service certain stores that were affected by the terminations; many of the banks it contacted for that purpose had decided to exit the short-term small-dollar industry entirely due to regulatory pressure. No bank expressed a concern about Advance America; every bank based its determination on a sweeping judgment of the industry as a whole, an irrational judgment they were compelled to make by their regulator.”
“Another CFSA member, Cash Tyme, has received termination notices for its accounts at Continue Reading..