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U.S. Markets

U.S. banking regulator freezes controversial 'fair access' rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. banking regulator announced Thursday it was freezing a contentious new rule that would prohibit banks from refusing to lend to certain business types, a move that will allow the next regulator tapped by President Joe Biden to review and potentially undo it.

The Comptroller of the Currency said in a statement it would not publish its “fair access” rule, which had been finalized earlier this month.

The move, which prevents the rule from taking effect, will allow Democrats taking control of the agency to review it. Banks and consumer advocates alike had been strongly opposed to the rule, arguing it would give the government power to order the banks to lend to certain businesses they would otherwise avoid.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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