WASHINGTON, D.C. – Only eight days after the comment period closed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized its deceptively titled Fair Access to Financial Services proposed rule. The rule, which would pressure and, in some cases, require banks to lend to fossil fuel companies, without regard to strategic or reputational risk, is slated to take effect on April 1. Yevgeny Shrago, policy counsel for Public Citizen’s Climate Program, released the following statement:
“The process of finalizing this rule in eight days is audacious in its violation of law and good government norms, even by the abysmally low standards in the Trump administration. There is no way that the OCC could have met its legal obligation to provide due and fair consideration to the more than 35,000 public comments it received. The grave procedural issues are only compounded by serious substantive issues Public Citizen highlighted: This rule is nothing more than a parting gift from the Trump administration to fossil fuel companies and a few other favored industries. We call on the Biden administration to pursue all available courses of action to ensure that this rule never takes effect.”
Please contact the individuals listed above to speak with Shrago or David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program.