May 11, 2023 — Letter

NCLC joined other consumer groups in a statement for the record for the Senate Banking Committee expressing concerns that Section 10 of S.1323 (Merkley), the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2023, could inhibit efforts to stop payment fraud. That section of the bill, which mostly deals with cannabis banking, imposes onerous requirements if a bank regulator discourages a depository institution from entering into or maintaining a banking relationship with a specific customer or group of customers. The section could be construed to apply if a bank regulator warns a financial institution about red flags that a customer or group of customers are engaged in unlawful activity, including receiving or laundering stolen funds. The provision could hinder efforts by bank regulators to address payment fraud and the use of bank accounts by fraudsters to receive money stolen in hacks and scams.