Powderhorn Outfitters, located in Hyannis, Massachusetts, recently claimed that its loan was turned down by TD Bank because the company sells guns.
Powderhorn Outfitters posted this statement on their Facebook page:
Recently I applied for a line of credit and was informed I was declined. I was told my finances were fine and history was spotless, however they could not approve me because I sell guns. Because I was so taken aback, I did some research (and of course closed my accounts with this bank).
Powderhorn Outfitters has since moved to another bank, claims its tough-talking owner Mark Cohen.
“I won’t roll over for anybody,” Cohen told The Washington Times. “Our loan was turned not because of our credit, we had perfect financials and been working with the same bank manager for 20 years. It was just because we sell guns, and they said that to us specifically."
Erin Potts, a spokeswoman for TD Bank, responded: “While we cannot discuss specific details about our customers due to privacy laws, I can tell you that TD Bank evaluates each prospective lending relationship to ensure that we are operating within our risk appetite and only taking risks we can understand and manage.”
Some critics are blaming the U.S. Justice Department's program “Operation Choke Point,” which is designed to catch online fraudsters in 24 industries deemed “high-risk” by the FDIC.
Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association (a trade association of the payments industry), wrote on The Hill last month:
Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly. Rather, Operation Choke Point is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.
Sources: The Washington Times, The Hill, Facebook