U.S. SENATE—U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) today raised concerns about bank closures and the lack of financial inclusion in rural Arizona.
During a U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Sen. McSally asked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell what actions the nation’s central bank is taking to ensure that rural communities in Arizona and throughout the country have access to financial services.
“On February 2nd, the American Banker published an article titled, ‘When a Small Town Loses Its Only Bank.’ The article mentions that Duncan, Arizona had only one bank that recently closed its doors. The residents of Duncan are now forced to drive approximately 40 miles to conduct any banking. Local businesses no longer have a place to make deposits or get change, and any customer service issue requiring an in-person visit is a long drive,” McSally said. “Do you have any ideas in our role on how we can address this issue?”
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said: “We can’t be in the business of ultimately telling banks that they can’t close branches but we can find incentives for them to support rural areas and the CRA [Community Reinvestment Act] reform may be one vehicle for that where we can move community reinvestment, and this is a constructive aspect of one of the other agencies proposal, is moving to support more material of the (CRA) in rural areas.”
Download McSally's questioning here.
On October 29, McSally introduced the Native American Housing Affordability Act of 2019.
On September 10, McSally pressed top officials on how to prevent future housing crises.
On June 5, McSally highlighted the importance of community banks in Arizona.
On May 16, McSally spoke up on behalf of overregulated small businesses in Arizona.