Three Republican members of the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee have sent letters to the heads of US banking regulatory agencies requesting information on possible coordinated action against digital asset companies. The letters are a continuation of others previously sent to the same addresses by lawmakers.
The letters, dated April 25, were addressed to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, Federal Reserve System Chairman Jerome Powell and the Acting Comptroller of the Bureau of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Michael J. Hsu. The letters contained identical text with a personalized set of requests to see agency records.
The letters began by recalling the Obama administration’s alleged Operation Choke Point, which encouraged banks to deny service to certain types of businesses. And they continued:
“Today we are seeing a resurgence of coordinated action by federal prudential regulators to suppress innovation in the United States. There is no clearer example than in the digital asset ecosystem.”
The letter writers cited OCC Interpretative Letter 1179, the FDIC’s April 2022 letter, and the three-agency joint statement released in January as examples. Despite the “ordinary fraud” seen in the cryptocurrency industry, “digital asset activity is not inherently risky,” they say. Moreover:
“Taken together, the actions of the Fed, FDIC and OCC do not appear to be a reaction to recent events or the result of a sudden desire to protect financial institutions from risky behavior, but rather suggest a coordinated strategy to devalue the asset ecosystem digital in the United States”.
The authors, the Republicans. Patrick McHenry, Bill Huizenga and French Hill request non-public documents relating to communications between employees of each of the named agencies and the institutions they oversee regarding the named documents.
Thank you! @PatrickMcHenry @RepFrenchHill @RepHuizenga This is a big step to bring transparency to ongoing efforts to devalue the digital asset ecosystem. @CameraDigitale took our interested members up the hill to talk about debanking last month. Conversations matter. https://t.co/RxW5g9MAvx
— Cody Carbone (@CodyCarboneDC) April 26, 2023
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