Capital One to Cut All Ties With Check Cashing Industry
August 6, 2014
Capital One Financial Corp. is cutting all ties with the check-cashing industry, which has come under pressure nationwide for its tactics
and is being targeted in a money-laundering investigation by the New York District Attorney.
The McLean company issued that statement Wednesday after disclosing in a regulatory filing late Tuesday that is has been
subpoenaed by the New York District Attorney in a probe related to the company's check casher customers and its anti-money
laundering program. Capital One says it is cooperating with the investigation.
"Capital One has made the decision to exit the business of providing commercial banking services to check cashers and related
businesses,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We are in the process of exiting our check-cashing group. That group is a
very small part of our Commercial Banking business. We consistently review business plans and initiatives across the company to
ensure that they are aligned with our strategic goals and future plans. We took a range of factors into consideration and determined
that this business no longer fits within the Bank’s strategic priorities."
That's essentially the same statement Capital One gave to American Banker back in April, when the industry publication reported the
bank was terminating its accounts with check-cashing stores in the face of stepped-up scrutiny by federal regulators. The story said
Capital One was serving about half of the 150 licensed check cashing companies in New York state, based on information from the
Financial Service Centers of America.
Bloomberg noted that regulators are pressing some of the biggest U.S. banks to verify that transactions are tied to legitimate business,
and banks are ending their relationships with payday lenders and other businesses as they face more pressure not from regulators but
also consumer advocates. But the effort has also created a backlash from some Republicans and caused at least one regulator to
back away from a list of risky businesses that banks should monitor closely when accepting deposits and other transactions.
A request for comment from the office of District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. was not immediately answered.

Courtesy Mark Holan
Staff Reporter-Washington Business Journal