Goodlatte said the program, known as Operation Choke Point, was “ill-advised” and “discouraged financial institutions from offering services to businesses that the Administration opposed.”
Under President Barack Obama, the department said the effort was intended to root out fraud by banks and payment processors and to cut off the banking system from wrongdoing by merchants.
Karl Frisch, executive director of [the consumer watchdog] Allied Progress, blasted the letter as “a massive giveaway to predatory payday lenders and other shady financial scam-artists.
“Operation Choke Point has been incredibly effective at cracking down on the flow of money to fraudulent merchants that violate the law and target vulnerable consumers,” Frisch said in a statement.
According to Allied Progress:
Operation Choke Point was implemented in 2013 to prompt financial institutions to, as the Obama administration put it, “‘choke off’ the flow of money to the fraudulent merchants” with the purpose of combating “mass-market consumer fraud schemes in which financial institutions were either direct or indirect participants.” The program’s demise was a high-profile goal of the predatory payday lending industry and its allies in Congress.
Goodlatte continues to be a cheerleader for the Trump administration’s push to roll back federal protections for consumers, workers and the environment.