According to Hogue Inc., Wells Fargo is refusing to provide them with banking services, citing “weapons” concerns because the company makes knives. The Nevada-based manufacturer says the bank rejected their business only after trying to solicit them as a client in the first place. The news came via a social media post (shown below) made by the company on Friday.
It’s still not clear if the decision was made at the local branch level, but this is not the only case of Wells Fargo refusing to serve a member of the knife industry. One east coast knife dealer reported having their services revoked. According to the retailer, they were given 5 days to find a new payment processor to replace the one affiliated with Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving over 1/3rd of US households. KnifeNews reached out to the west coast mega-bank, but they didn’t respond in time for our story.
Operation Choke Point
Clay Aalders, Managing Editor of The Truth About Knives, believes an Obama Administration initiative called Operation Choke Point may be involved in the decision. Operation Choke Point is executed by the US Department of Justice, pressuring financial institutions to cut ties with clients believed to be at a higher risk of fraud and money laundering.
Since the measures came into effect in 2013, critics say the operation has gone beyond its mandate and is affecting legitimate businesses including gun dealers, manufacturers, and pawn shops. “..These companies are not just engaging in legal commerce, they are producing and selling products that are not only legal but actually specifically protected under the Second Amendment,” Aalders says in a scathing blog post. “Disgusting would be a diplomatic term for it. I can think of several stronger.”
In February, Congress passed H.R. 766, a bill intended to shut down Operation Choke Point. But, even if the law makes it through the Senate, the White House indicated President Obama would veto the bill.