Saturday, April 12, 2014

Banks, fearing "know your customer", warn payday loan companies to cease and desist


“Payday lenders say banks threatening their business: Regulators accused of ‘intimidation; some bankers say they’re forced to police customers”.  That’s the long title of a Washington Post story in Economy and Business on p A13 by Danielle A Douglas. Online, the title is more blunt, “Banks to payday lenders: quit the business or we’ll close your account”, link here. Would this include a personal account?
  
Banks say that regulators accuse them of profiting indirectly from the “loan shark” business, terminology well known from the 50s. 
    
But there’s something dangerous about this “know your customer,” downstream liability ideology.  What if we applied it to the Internet?  Guess what.  There would be no more Section 230.  And some politicians want to chip away at that now.

The problem reminds one of the unwillingness of banks to do business with legal marijuana retailers in Colorado. 
     
On P A19 of Satruday’s Post, Colbert J. King has an editorial “Let’s get specific about ‘who failed Relisha”.  She disagrees with Petula Dvorak that we’re all responsible because of the chain-letter effects of inequality.   

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