July 29, 2022

Duckworth Joins Brown, Colleagues in Reintroducing Legislation to Fight Discrimination from Financial Institutions


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and a group of their colleagues in reintroducing the Fair Access to Financial Services Act, a bill to prohibit banks and other financial institutions from discrimination in providing goods or services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. The legislation would ensure that all people receive equal treatment when trying to access services at financial institutions and hold these institutions accountable for discriminatory practices.

“People of color still face discrimination in banking and are more likely to be steered towards predatory products and more expensive loans when they try to achieve their part of the American Dream—that’s unacceptable,” said Duckworth. “We need critical protections against all banking discrimination, which is why I’m proud to join Senator Brown and my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation to hold discriminatory lenders accountable.”

“Too many Black and brown Americans experience racial profiling and unequal treatment when trying to access services at banks and other financial institutions, and don’t have anywhere to turn to hold financial institutions accountable,” said Brown. “Our legislation explicitly outlaws discrimination in our nation’s financial system so that everyone can access financial services free from harassment and abuse.”

Many of the nation’s largest banks have come under fire recently for racial profiling and other discriminatory practices. JP Morgan Chase Bank is being sued for refusing to open a bank account for a Black customer late last year. Bank of America recently apologized to film director Ryan Coogler after wrongfully assuming he was a bank robber. Wells Fargo came under scrutiny earlier this year for denying more than half of all Black refinancing applicants in 2020.

Along with Duckworth and Brown, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The bill has been endorsed by the National Urban League, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Center for Responsible Lending, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, UnidosUS, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Full text of the bill is available here and a summary here.