The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday put former acting Comptroller Brian Brooks’ controversial “fair access” banking rule on hold pending a review by the new administration.
- Brooks’ so-called “fair access” rule sought to prohibit federally chartered banks from denying financial services such as lending to would-be clients on political or ideological grounds.
- While the rule never mentioned cryptocurrencies, it came as welcome news to businesses in the space, which have long struggled to obtain or keep bank accounts in the U.S.
- The OCC rushed to finalize the rule before the end of President Donald Trump’s term, but it was never published in the Federal Register.
- Proponents have claimed the rule was a necessary check on politically motivated financial exclusion. Detractors have blasted the proposal for being far from fair.
- The next OCC head will review the rule once he or she is confirmed, OCC said in a statement.