Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined legislation led by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the Fair Access to Financial Services Act, to prohibit banks and other financial institutions from discrimination in providing goods or services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination in certain places of public accommodations, it does not cover banks and other financial institutions. This new legislation would ensure that all people receive equal treatment when trying to access services at financial institutions and hold them accountable when they engage in discriminatory acts.
“Far too many Nevadans still face discrimination within the financial system, making it harder for them to open a bank account or to secure a loan. If we are to truly address the systemic racism in our country, we must address the inequalities in our banking systems. I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that will help ensure all Nevadans are treated equally when seeking financial services and that will hold financial institutions accountable if they engage in unfair practices.”
This bill is a direct response to the numerous incidents of discrimination experienced by Black and brown people when trying to access the financial system. It has been endorsed by several civil rights organizations, including Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Human Rights, The National Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), UnidosUS, Americans for Financial Reform, Public Citizen, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Action Network, and the Center for Responsible Lending. More information about the bill can be found here, and the bill text can be found here.