Jimmy Patronis Accuses Banks of Canceling Businesses That Are “Too Conservative”

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(Newswire.net — March 24, 2021) — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis urged banks not to engage in “cancel culture”, according to a piece by Florida Politics. Patronis made his comments in a letter to Russell Weigel, Florida’s chief financial regulator

Patronis letter argues that banks are withholding financial services from industry groups that have run afoul of “cancel culture”. Patronis cites firearm manufacturers, mine operators, private prison companies, and energy companies as examples of groups that he believes banks have been discriminating against. To his thinking, banks are, by severing ties with these and other such groups, engaging in financial  “cancel culture.” Furthermore, he believes that the motivations of this severing are that these groups are “too conservative”, that is to say, the reasons are political. 

Patronis believes that there is an arbitrary sorting of the markets in which winners are those groups favoured by “woke culture” and the losers are those groups which are “too conservative”. Following his logic, he says that this arbitrary setting weaponizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) against the taxpayers who subsidize it. 

Patronis claims that some businesses have not only been unable to secure financing from banks, they have also been denied the right to open bank accounts, solely because they belong to groups decried by “cancel culture”. In the modern economy, being unbanked has disastrous consequences for a business and for Patronis, the actions he alleges banks are undertaking, will result in greater levels of unemployment and business closures. 

Patronis believes that efforts at the federal level to prevent financial discrimination of these groups are not enough to stop the problem. He suggests that Floridians must keep an eye on state financial institutions so that they do not discriminate against “too conservative” industry groups. 

To this end, Patronis calls on Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation to examine Florida banking laws to see if banks operating in the state and exhibiting political discrimination against these groups are not engaging in unsound banking practices meriting the issuing of cease-and-desist orders as per Section 655.033, Florida Statutes

Patronis concluded his letter by again stating that these alleged practices will have negative repercussions for Florida’s economy and the United States as a whole. He accuses banks of having a shameful record of discrimination against “disfavored groups”. Finally, he urges Commissioner Weigel and Floridians at large to stop “cancel culture” from running “roughshod” over American businesses. 

The letter comes at a time when Republicans have been pushing back against what they believe is a dangerous “cancel culture” movement. Many Americans either do not have an opinion on “cancel culture” or they do not know that it is. The term is more familiar with Americans under the age of 45, but, as Republicans have made it an important part of their politics, that could change. 

In that vein, Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero is sponsoring a controversial bill, SB 264, aimed at combating “cancel culture” on campuses and in academia. Meanwhile, Chris Sprowls, speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, criticized “cancel culture” in his opening remarks.