JPMorgan Chase admitted to pressuring the financial software company Intuit into preventing gun sellers from using the company’s payment processing services, according to a letter Sen. Ted Cruz sent Monday after looking into the policy. Bank of America, meanwhile, denied pressuring Intuit into banning gun manufacturers from using its famous QuickBooks software.
“Woke big banks are increasingly weaponizing their power to cut off law-abiding businesses from accessing banking services,” Cruz, R-Texas, told The Daily Signal in an email statement Monday.
“The American people and small businesses must be protected from this discriminatory overreach,” Cruz added. “We cannot allow giant corporations to get away with punishing customers who do not fall in line with the Left’s political whims and leanings.”
JPMorgan Chase has disputed Cruz’s characterization of events.
Intuit, the financial software company best known for producing QuickBooks, had adopted an acceptable use policy previously listing “guns and firearm manufacturing” as one of the business types prohibited from using payroll services. Intuit also listed “firearms and weapons sales” as a business type prohibited from using payment processing services.
Intuit removed its prohibitions on payroll and payment processing for gun manufacturers and firearm sellers Aug. 1, following Cruz’s investigation of the company. The Texas Republican thanked Inuit in his letter Monday.
Cruz learned about the issue after Intuit withdrew its services from Dawson Precision, a Texas company that manufactures firearm parts. Intuit gave Dawson Precision no warning and simply refused to process payroll. Intuit later notified Dawson Precision that the software company had canceled the manufacturer’s account because Intuit’s acceptable use policy excluded firearm manufacturers.
When Dawson Precision explained that it manufactures only parts for firearms, not firearms themselves, Intuit directed the company to lodge a complaint with a third party that had flagged it. The third party didn’t respond to Dawson Precision’s attempts to appeal the decision.
Intuit also stopped processing credit card payments for the Arizona company Gunsite Academy, citing Intuit’s ban on companies that engage in gun sales that aren’t face to face. After Gunsite Academy explained that it legally shipped firearms to local dealers rather than directly to consumers, Intuit refused to reverse the decision.
When Cruz’s staff approached Intuit about its firearm policies, the company said its banking partners, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, demanded the policies. Specifically, Intuit said Bank of America required it to prohibit gun manufacturers from using QuickBooks and JPMorgan required Intuit to prohibit gun sellers from doing so.
JPMorgan admitted its role in the policy, according to Cruz, but Bank of America denied that it ever gave Intuit any instructions about firearm companies.
Patricia Wexler, corporate communications officer at JPMorgan, confirmed to The Daily Signal that JPMorgan Chase advised Intuit not to offer payment processing services to firearms retailers. She said third-party payments “present unique and long-recognized regulatory risks” and insisted that the retailers can work directly with Chase instead.
“We process payments for firearms purchases for our tens of millions of customers, and our thousands of firearms retailer clients,” Wexler told The Daily Signal. “There are a small set of payments through third parties – like Intuit – that present unique and long-recognized regulatory risks that have to be handled differently. For this small group of firearms retailers, they can work directly with Chase instead of going through a third party to have payments processed.”
This doesn’t mark JPMorgan’s first foray into allegedly cracking down on bank accounts associated with conservative causes.
In May 2022, Chase Bank (a division of JPMorgan Chase) closed an account for the National Committee for Religious Freedom, an organization founded by Sam Brownback, a former Kansas governor and President Donald Trump’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
Brownback, along with conservative organizations, suggested that Chase closed the account for religious or political reasons, which Chase denied. The bank said it closed the account because it needed more information about donors and recipients than the nonprofit provided.
The threat that conservatives may face blacklisting from banking services extends beyond JPMorgan Chase.
Far-left groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center have pressured donor-advised funds to cut off charitable donations to conservative organizations that the SPLC brands “hate groups.” The left-leaning group SumOfUs also pressured Mastercard to refuse to process any credit-card transactions for “hate groups.”
As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC took the program it had used to bankrupt organizations associated with the Ku Klux Klan and weaponized it against conservative groups, partially to scare donors into ponying up cash and partially to silence ideological opponents. In 2019, amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal that led the SPLC to fire its co-founder, a former employee came forward, calling the “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”
In his letter, Cruz wrote that “Intuit did the right thing regarding its payroll and payment services.”
“I encourage other companies to follow your company’s lead and take note that banning customers from using their products due to political differences is not good business,” the senator’s letter concludes.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a statement from JPMorgan Chase.
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