Chase Bank Unveils New “Reputation Risk” Campaign, Targeting Loyal Customers For Their Political Beliefs
September 1, 2021 (5mo ago)

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Over the weekend a stunning image made the rounds online. The photo showed a letter from Chase Bank to Lori Flynn, the wife of Gen. Michael Flynn, informing her that her credit cards were being canceled due to the “reputational risk” she created for the company.

Some on the left initially suggested the letter might be a hoax, before concluding that Chase’s decision was legitimate and something to celebrate.

On Tuesday Chase confirmed that the cancellation was real and aimed at Flynn’s wife, Lori. The company then tried to walk back the cancellation, claiming that it was all “mistake.” If there was any “mistake” in targeting Flynn’s family, it was in misjudging the PR backlash that would ensue from such an egregious display of political persecution.

Chase’s “mistaken” letter to General Flynn’s wife wasn’t the first time an organization has used “reputational risk” as a pretext for political censorship.  In fact, weaponizing claims of “reputational risk” has become a favored tactic for the institutional left to deny its enemies the right to organize or even live normal day-to-day lives. 

Long before Gen. Flynn became a target, none other than disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to use “reputational risk” as a means to topple the National Rifle Association.

The State of New York enjoys regulatory power over all banks and insurers chartered or registered in the state — a considerable power when one takes Wall Street into account. In the spring of 2018, Governor Cuomo invoked this regulatory authority in a thuggish attempt to make it impossible for the NRA to publicly campaign for gun rights.

It is typical for shared-interest groups, from the Habitat for Humanity to the New York Bar Association to the NRA, to partner with insurance companies to offer insurance policies to its members. The NRA insurance, known as Carry Guard, reimbursed policyholders for attorney fees and other legal expenses in the event that they used legally-owned guns in self-defense. The NRA’s program was entirely legal, and used routine insurance templates and market practices. However, Cuomo’s administration decided to target the Carry Guard program — and no other affinity-based insurance offerings —  for supposed insurance-regulatory infirmities.

The objective was simple: Cut off a stream of revenue for the NRA, and increase the risk of financial ruin for future George Zimmermans who legally used guns in self-defense.

Soon, Cuomo’s investigations turned into a broad-based offensive to deny the NRA access to basic services. Acting on Cuomo’s orders, New York’s bank regulatory authority sent a letter to all banks and insurers operating within the state with demands that can only be described as mafia-like in nature:

The tragic devastation caused by gun violence that we have regrettably been increasingly witnessing is a public safety and health issue that should no longer be tolerated by the public and there will undoubtedly be increasing public backlash against the NRA and like organizations.

Our insurers are key players in maintaining and improving public health and safety in the communities they serve. They are also in the business of managing risks, including their own reputational risks, by making risk management decisions on a regular basis regarding if and how they will do business with certain sectors or entities. In light of the above, and subject to compliance with applicable laws, the Department encourages its insurers to continue evaluating and managing their risks, including reputational risks, that may arise from their dealings with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, if any, as well as continued assessment of compliance with their own codes of social responsibility. The Department encourages regulated institutions to review any relationships they have with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, and to take prompt actions to managing these risks and promote public health and safety.

The whole episode reads like a scene out of The Godfather.

“The NRA is just bad and awful, the way they campaign against gun control. It’d be really terrible if any company suffered damage to their reputation by providing them banking or insurance services. New York would hate to see that happen.”

Andrew Cuomo sharing his viewson gun control with the NRA.

The thuggery of the letter is even more sinister because it doesn’t simply invent the concept of “reputational risk” from whole cloth. Reputational risk is a real thing that companies must account for. Traditionally, “reputational risk” for a company derives from that company’s own practices. A company that makes shoddy products, piles up safety violations, or mishandles its finances to the point of insolvency will suffer reputational damage. Such damage can destroy a company.

All of these traditional reputational concerns, though, are either about matters of the law or politically-neutral quality-of-service. Gov. Cuomo’s plot was to distend the concept of “reputational risk” to encompass pure political stigma. He used state regulators to bully institutions into “canceling” any customer who fell into disfavor with the ruling party.

And that is exactly how bankers interpreted it:

Speaking “on the condition of anonymity,” one community banker from Upstate New York told American Banker magazine that in light of the apparent “politically motivated” nature of the DFS guidance, “[i]t’s hard to know what the rules are” or whom to do business with, because bankers must attempt to anticipate “who is going to come into disfavor with the New York State DFS” or other regulators. Other industry sources told American Banker that, “such regulatory guidelines are frustratingly vague, and can effectively compel institutions to cease catering to legal businesses.”

Cuomo wasn’t acting alone. While on the campaign trail in 2018, future New York attorney general Letitia James bragged that she would launch politically-motivated investigations of any bank that did business with the NRA… for endangering its “reputation,” of course.

“Gun manufacturers may have special protections against legal liability for the catastrophic toll caused by their products, but those protections do not extend to the banks that fund them,” James boasted. “Banks have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to disclose the risks associated with funding the gun trade, both legal and reputational.”

Letitia James is from the government and she’s here to help.

This is a dimension of “woke capital” that conservatives often do not appreciate. It’s not simply a matter of die-hard ideologues infesting every company. It’s also about radical liberals seizing control of key chokepoints and powerful regulators in government, and then using them to force even politically-neutral actors to submit. 

This warping of “reputational risk” is the perfect weapon for steadily-escalating globalist dominance and cultural hegemony. There doesn’t need to be any pretense of illegality, nor any sham scare-mongering about “coups” and “insurrections.” All that is necessary is a vague, amorphous threat to one’s “reputation”… and that “reputational threat” is entirely under the control of the left itself. The left’s own intolerance becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, perpetually justifying the removal of more rights from its enemies.

But Gov. Cuomo was never one for original thoughts, so unsurprisingly, he didn’t come up with this tactic himself. He based it on lessons learned from the Obama administration just a few years prior.

In 2011, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. warned banks to carefully scrutinize any “high-risk” clients who used payment processors like PayPal to manage credit card transactions. Alongside businesses like escort companies or pyramid schemes, Obama’s FDIC also conveniently lumped in gun and ammunition sellers. Then, in 2013, the Obama Department of Justice launched “Operation Choke Point,” a campaign to intimidate financial firms working with companies that the administration didn’t like. And any company involved with the U.S. gun industry was a top target.

The government has gone after two dozen businesses including ammunition dealers, check-cashers, payday lenders, telemarketers, firearms and fireworks vendors, raffles, pharmaceutical sellers, surveillance-equipment firms and home-based charities. The Justice Department and several regulators have pressured banks to close accounts with these businesses—on a sweeping, industry-wide basis—without any proof of wrongdoing. By choking off their access to bank services, the government is attempting to shut these industries down or drive them underground. Internal Justice Department papers released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee make it clear that Justice prefers coercing banks to drop customers through Operation Choke Point rather than prosecuting illegal or fraudulent businesses directly because it’s easier, faster and requires fewer resources. [WSJ]

Several online gun retailers had their accounts terminated by banks that didn’t want to be hassled by regulators.

With President Donald Trump in office, the American people enjoyed a brief hiatus from these governmental mafioso-style activities at the federal level. But with the Biden Administration in power, the feds are ready to roll again, and at the state level, liberal governments are now acting more aggressively than ever before. And as General Flynn’s experience shows, individual Americans can and will be targeted alongside companies and non-profits.

By distending the concept of “reputational risk” to encompass political stigma rather than classic considerations bearing on reputation for institutional solvency and soundness, these regulators appear poised to mandate that financial institutions “cancel” any customer who falls into disfavor with the ruling party.

The good news about such tactics is that they immediately suggest an obvious and plausible solution.

Generally speaking, while the crusade to ban critical race theory is admirable, it suffers from a  fundamental shortcoming. No matter what laws are passed, America’s classrooms will still be dominated by political radicals, and they will either ignore the law, or find a way to sneak in radicalism under another label. State-level CRT bans are an attempt to apply a narrow solution to a broad problem.

But politically-motivated lending by banks is the opposite. It is relatively easy to check, by simply banning the politically-motivated denial of basic services.

In the final days of the Trump Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed a regulation which would have banned politically-motivated decisions on loans from major banks:

A Wall Street regulator appointed by President Donald Trump wants to force banks to finance unpopular businesses the industry has been known to shun — a list that includes oil companies, gun manufacturers and private prisons.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks on Friday proposed a rule that would require banks to extend services and credit to any customers that pass their risk assessments. The move addresses a concern raised by Republicans that lenders including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have engaged in discrimination due to public pressure or their own distaste for certain industries.

“There is a creeping politicization of the banking industry that has the propensity to be very, very dangerous,” Brooks told reporters Friday in a call about the rule, which would affect lenders with more than $100 billion in assets. [Bloomberg]

The OCC rule was swiftly retracted by the Biden Administration upon taking office. But there is no reason it could not be revived the moment Republicans hold office again, and made more powerful and all-encompassing.

But there is no need for Republicans to wait for federal regulators to bail them out. They can act at the state level right now. If New York can pressure banks to deny service to the politically unpopular, then Florida or Texas can explicitly ban companies from doing the same. 

In fact, Republicans can and must go further. There is no reason to limit pro-freedom regulations to credit cards and bank loans. The left has already signaled that it wants to deny “racists” and “insurrectionists” the right to rent an apartment or fly on a plane or run a website. So cut them off at the pass, preemptively. Republicans, conservatives and patriotic independents should fight for laws, right now, that bar companies from denying, on political or “reputational” grounds, the services that are integral to modern life: Banking, travel, accommodations, access to the Internet, et cetera. This won’t just be valuable for protecting American patriots. It will be politically popular as well. Much like with affirmative action, the left will fail when forced to honestly defend what it wants: To freely discriminate and punish law-abiding American citizens for their religious beliefs, their innate, God-given traits, or their freely-held views.

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4 months ago

Chase is Chicom 💩 its made massive investments there. I hope they get sued into the ground

4 months ago

Cancel your chase cards and accounts.

4 months ago

NPR and PBS are mouthpieces that tell us what the Deep State wants us to think

4 months ago

ANTIFA speak Hindi?

John C
4 months ago

Time to cancel all things Chase.

4 months ago

Acc. to this Blaze article (9/1) Chase “apologizes for the error”.

Squid Pro Crow
4 months ago

If I had any Chase accounts, I would immediately cancel them!

4 months ago

Apparently, the business of the average American is no longer in their marketing strategy. Otherwise, only a complete moron would alienate half the population.

4 months ago

The “Mistake” was them not realizing the possible losses from all the account’s being transferred to other Banks! Money Talks… and when you’re threatened at a major loss of costumers .. guess what?

john wilson
4 months ago

Don’t trust the Federal Government, CDC, NIH, the FBI, the DOJ or any big financial institutions or social media or big pharma. Thats the world the democrats sh!t out and we now have to live in

Dani TX
4 months ago

What are the good alternatives and I’ll change tomorrow? Bank of America is anything but.

4 months ago

Americans need to separate from the anti-Americans. The US government is in enemy hands. Most of the 1 million federal workers, and most state employees are anti-American. We’re as divided as Russia and China.

Cyan Mule
4 months ago

I have had a Chase card for 50 years. Got it tru the Officers club at my first base when I had absolutely no credit history. Gonna feel bad cutting that f’er up.

Cyan Mule
4 months ago

I have had a Chase card for 50 years. Got it thru the base Officers Club at my first duty station when I had absolutely zero credit rating. I am going to feel bad cutting that f’er up.

Andy Dufrane
4 months ago

Is it legal for Chase to engage in viewpoint discrimination? They are a federally insured bank, FDIC. Under federal charter. As such, any bank that is FDIC insured is benefiting from all Americans’ tax dollars. Another item to point out, is the tweet shown by “Jim Stewartson, Antifascist, #RIPQ.” If Mr. typical-lefty Jim, supports corporations partnering with the Democratic party and banning their political opponents, well guess what that is LITERALLY FASCISM. He is not an “Antifascist” he LITERALLY a fascist, by definition. The left are not -rhetorical fascists, or said hyperbollically, or as some cheap insult. The Left are literally fascists. Everything the Left is doing is fascism. Whether its pimping experimental mRNA for big pharma, the big banks, their party’s open partnership with corporate media, or the Biden regime working with tech corporations to censor Americans. Or, pushing fascist vaccine passports, or using lockdowns to kill small businesses so their corporate sponsors can sweep them all up. Who does the eviction moratorium hurt? Small property owners forced to sell, to Blackrock who is buying up 20% all new homes.

I leave anyone reading with this: Pick any five big American corporations, any five, choose Alphabet, Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Cisco, Disney, you name it, and use the Yahoo finance tool to view the largest shareholders of any American corporation. All of them, ALL OF THEM are controlled by Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street. Then check who owns the other institutional investors, see who the top holders in those institutions are, Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street. Larry Fink the CEO of Blackrock, was a big Hillary Clinton supporter. He thought he was going to be Sec. of the Treasury. He was not happy Trump won. The Democrat party is a corporation owned by Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street. Blackrock’s Fink is also in bed with the WEF, the “you’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy” Great Reset group.

Fascism has come to America. It came from the Left, just as Ronald Reagan said it would.

4 months ago

If the company starts refusing to do business with certain individuals out of “reputational risk” then, by that standard, they endorse the behavior of all the customers they do keep. Now that seems like a genuine reputational risk.

Andy Dufrane
4 months ago

The Democrat party is a fascist corporation. Its owners are three companies:
Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street.

Pick any corporation, right off the top of your head, search in the Yahoo Finance tool who are the top shareholders are. Those three companies control the corporate oligarchy.

Corporatism = fascism. The Demcrats are not “antifascists” they ARE the fascists.
Call them what they are.

How about CHASE BANK, guess who:
Top Institutional Holders
Holder Shares
Vanguard Group, Inc. 8.81%.
Blackrock Inc. 6.60%.
State Street Corporation 4.74%.

Boomer Chimichanga
4 months ago

Don’t cancel your Chase cards, just run them up to the max and refuse to pay. What’s good for the banksters is good for the people that fund their bailouts.

Kevin Taylor
4 months ago

Cancel your chase cards, and chase accounts. If they will do this to Flynn, they will do this to anyone. Stop them now, or fight them later – they are at war with us.

4 months ago

I have no doubt that the anti-Christ will be a Democrat when she implements Satan’s wicked and tyrannical “mark of the beast.”

4 months ago

Whatever happened to “it is illegal for a public company to deny service to anyone”? I guess that only applies to bakers and white people!

omega man
4 months ago

Oliver North: “Never underestimate the power of blackmail”.
The CCP has a files on every past, current, and potentially rising politician, financier, CEO, bureaucrat….. honey traps galore, bribes, favors…. better explanation than anything else out there.

4 months ago

Chase is not the only lender doing this to their customers. My bank of 30 years suddenly closed all my accounts claiming they could not verify me after 30 years!

4 months ago

Check out videos of Catherine Austin Fitts
She was interviewed for Planet Lockdown and CEO Solari
I’m too poor to pay for Solari (just an NP) but she has been saying this covid thing is more than totalitarianism/health tyrrany and transhumanism a big part is the money that’s been stolen out of pension funds etc. Goal is one world currency to hide the stolen money etc.

She has mentioned to all that interview her to get your money out of the big banks stop funding your own slavery. Find small local banks credit unions that have your best interests in mind. She also suggests cash as much as possible or try for cash only fridays.

I’m an NP finance/monetary policy/banking aren’t in my wheelhouse but she’s very knowledgeable about all of this and the bigger picture of what’s going on…I highly suggest you look her up. Bitchute has interviews of hers as does rumble and sherry Tenpenny does a fantastic one about vaccines and laws added that helped protect big Pharma. I learned more in the first 20 min of that talk about how the vaccine schedule came to be so insane for kids then I ever learned in nursing or NP school.

4 months ago

China is based

Pecker Wood
4 months ago

I’ve taken the card off all websites where it was used, but am keeping the card – no sense reducing their paperwork.

stew nelson
4 months ago

nature abhors a vacuum. enterprising companies can step up and scoop up this business and be very open and vocal about it. “we are happy to bolster our reputation as a pro-american, pro freedom company by doing business with leaders in the 2A community” thats all you need to do. stand on your principals!!! stand up for the USA! you will be rewarded and your “reputation” will achieve hero status!!!

4 months ago

how can we get the CEO and board of chase on that list!

4 months ago

How can we get the CEO of chase and the board on that list?

Wayne Powell
4 months ago

Chase Bank you’re nothing

Joseph Wootten
4 months ago

Don’t cancel! For years, I have been charging one to two dollars a month on my C its card. It costs them WAY more in printing, postage and processing than they’ll ever make form me. Chase is now going to get the same treatrmenrt.

4 months ago

It’s amazing that people talk about revolutionary action and protests, but are unwilling to do something simple as canceling their credit card. Chase is going to do it anyway to every conservative, so why not drop them and go for a credit union instead?

4 months ago

Democracy means outsourcing your rights to corporations so that NGOs, lobbyists, and interest groups can remove them.

4 months ago

Why is anyone still in the banks especially Chase, BofA, Wells Fargo, Capital one, etc. etc.

4 months ago

I think it is appropriate, at this point, to call for a Boycott of Chase Bank and any of its subsidiaries. I would even say that if someone or some group of people decided to harass Chase Bank or cause a ruckus at one or many of their locations, I would not be upset at that. I might even applaud that action. If I thought it appropriate, I might even take part in something of that nature. Get it? EAT the RICH.

4 months ago

I think states should look to revoke lending licenses for financial institutions that have such discriminatory practices. I wonder how much power state regulatory bodies can impose?

4 months ago

Chase Bank should reflect on the consequences of their bullshit game if 50% or more of their customers took their business to a different bank that wasn’t so afflicted.

4 months ago

I just canceled my chase credit card citing “reptuational risk” for my reason for canceling my card. You are the weakest link, Chase Bank, goodbye.

John Walters
4 months ago

Whats wrong with people….JOIN A CREDIT UNION

4 months ago

Chase is engaging in reputation risks by trying to punish or strong arm people because of their political views and should be met with strong opposition! This Marxist crap needs to stop now! People should close their accounts and join a credit union if this commie stuff continues!

4 months ago

My wife’s retirement acct is with Chase. All the more reason to move it. It is a TERRIBLE plan anyway, converting to annuities on retirement.

4 months ago

I contacted my private banker at Chase when I read about Flynn’s wife. For 7 hours, my phone rang off the wall with all levels of management people from Chase trying to talk me out of leaving Chase. Lots of comments online about “just cancel” them. Well, for me that was going to be a huge undertaking. I have had all my banking, investments, annuities and insurance through Chase for more than 30 years. I was sure I was going to cancel but talking politely to 5 different bank employees over 24 hours made me rethink. Especially when two of them told me “we’re shocked at all the calls”. I learned all about the Bank Secrecy Act that came with the Patriot Act and the employees all learned why they mustn’t go down this cancel tunnel. Long story, short…I got a call back saying it was “an error.” I don’t believe that but maybe they got a scare from all the calls and they will rethink the policy. How many other people made civilized phone call and the numbers piled up on top of Chase. If you’re thinking, why don’t you just go bank somewhere else…look around! When Gettr or odyssey opens a bank, I’ll look at it.

Joseph Edelen
4 months ago

Move your money OUT OF CHASE!

4 months ago

I’ll be shopping for 2 new credit cards. Dropping Chase

4 months ago

forget suing them – cut your card and/or any other affiliation you might have with them. got a mortgage through chase? refinance – a credit card? cancel it. At the end of the day, that is what they will listen to – the silent syphoning of customers. Time to talk with the money we have – the libs laugh now but when more than half this companies funds go bye bye, they will do what they can to get us back. THEN, we simply ignore them. Then they really go bye bye.

Midnight ride 54
4 months ago

HEY chase, you go woke-YOU GROW BROKE!! Just cut my card I’ve held for ten years. ASHOLESS

Defence Man
4 months ago

CHASE BANK has just broadcast its nasty reputation to the world. One can only surmise they want this very nasty and very stupid reputation ! The executive that came up with this idea should be fired as this is certainly not the sort of action people will forget.

4 months ago

Today I got a notice from the IRS that they were auditing my for my 2019 tax return. The IRA accounts I have that are in question make no withdrawals with all dividends and capital gains being plowed back into the IRA. I will not owe them anything but I will need to hire a tax attorney now to make sure that this is put to bed.
Strange that it was from 2019.
Why did they not go after my last year of taxes? Because I lost lots of money last year on my investments. The IRS knows that like they know everything else about my finances.

Folks, we are in a fascist time worse than when Louis Lerner used the IRS to persecute Republican nonProfits. Today the IRS is going after all of us based on party affiliation and our presence on donation lists for Trump. And I do not even own a house, drive a 2006 Toyota Prius.

Darren Beattie! How about putting a story together on the army of IRS apparatchiks now hunting down ordinary Republicans?

Jersey Prophet
4 months ago

I regret that I have but zero accounts with Chase to close.

Robert Thomas
4 months ago

https://statesuniteddemocracyDOTorg ….all brand name DC grifters here….who funds these McLean, VA residing color revolutionaries. Peak boomers. Think how clean DC would be if they and about 2000 Sr. Executive Services across agencies were canned.

The clouds would part…

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