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house Bill H.R. 4813

Should ‘Big Tech’ Companies be Prohibited From Offering Banking Services?

Argument in favor

Big tech giants like Facebook are rapidly entering the financial services market without ensuring that consumers are properly protected or that they’re compliant with applicable regulations. This trend is worrying given these companies’ size, the amount of consumer data they own, and, in Facebook’s case, its history of privacy violations. Keeping big tech companies out of banking is an important check against these companies becoming “too big to fail,” using their user data to boost their banking businesses, or morphing into monopolies that control too many aspects of consumers’ lives.

burrkitty's Opinion
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11/23/2019
Company scrip has been done before and it’s a exploitation technique. Dressing it up in technology, a pretty marketing plan, and offering it to the public can’t change that. Most of the world has truck laws that outlaw this type “currency” so I don’t know why it’s even a question except for ignorance of the history or not making the connection to what it is. You know the song “Sixteenth Tons” by Merle Travis? That song is about the economic exploitation of coal miners forced to use scripts. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the 19th century.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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11/23/2019
I would go one step further and say that any non financial services company should be prohibited from offering banking services. With big tech giants like Facebook and Alphabet are rapidly entering the financial services market without ensuring that consumers are properly protected or that they’re compliant with applicable regulations. One of my biggest concerns about these companies is cyber security. Large companies have a history of poor security infrastructure. Banks have a hard enough time keeping their data secure, I have no faith in these non financial companies spending the money to properly secure their data. I am also concerned that these companies will use their banking information to market their other products and services. This trend is worrying given these companies’ size and the broad spectrum of products and services. Keeping big tech companies out of banking is an important check against these companies becoming “too big to fail,” or morphing into monopolies that control too many aspects of consumers’ lives.
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Anthony's Opinion
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11/23/2019
As a retired bank executive,I urge federal legislation to restrict all banking activities to the highly regulated banking industry. The reason banks are regulated is enormous impact on individuals and society. Risks are mitigated by government restrictions and controls and an appropriate adversarial relationship between banks and government regulators.We saw first hand,the damage that can be done not only to the US,but to world economies,when political and other inappropriate incentives weaken the kinds of checks and balances that results from this adversarial tension. Tech companies already have an enormous concentration of power on all societies,increasing such powers is unwise and dangerous.
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Argument opposed

Barring big U.S. tech companies from entering the banking sector is likely to cause the U.S. to fall behind in cryptocurrency and digital payments, ceding this important aspect of the future global economy to competitors like China. The supposed appropriate separation between banking and commerce is an artificial product of lobbying by the banking industry, and doesn’t need to be preserved to keep consumers safe. Regulators should allow anyone — including big tech companies like Facebook — who wants to innovate in the payments space to do so.

larubia's Opinion
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11/23/2019
Funny that banking industry wants to put the kabosh on tech companies entering their domain for fear that they could become too big and monopolize the market! Wow! I have a hard time feeling worried for the banking industry. No, they should be allowed to create and compete with global markets already in play.
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Sheila's Opinion
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11/23/2019
No, these tech companies have no business in the banking industry.
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Leo's Opinion
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11/23/2019
We should not stop technology from progressing. What needs to be done is applying financial regulations to the emerging online banking sector.
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    Company scrip has been done before and it’s a exploitation technique. Dressing it up in technology, a pretty marketing plan, and offering it to the public can’t change that. Most of the world has truck laws that outlaw this type “currency” so I don’t know why it’s even a question except for ignorance of the history or not making the connection to what it is. You know the song “Sixteenth Tons” by Merle Travis? That song is about the economic exploitation of coal miners forced to use scripts. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the 19th century.
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    Funny that banking industry wants to put the kabosh on tech companies entering their domain for fear that they could become too big and monopolize the market! Wow! I have a hard time feeling worried for the banking industry. No, they should be allowed to create and compete with global markets already in play.
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    I would go one step further and say that any non financial services company should be prohibited from offering banking services. With big tech giants like Facebook and Alphabet are rapidly entering the financial services market without ensuring that consumers are properly protected or that they’re compliant with applicable regulations. One of my biggest concerns about these companies is cyber security. Large companies have a history of poor security infrastructure. Banks have a hard enough time keeping their data secure, I have no faith in these non financial companies spending the money to properly secure their data. I am also concerned that these companies will use their banking information to market their other products and services. This trend is worrying given these companies’ size and the broad spectrum of products and services. Keeping big tech companies out of banking is an important check against these companies becoming “too big to fail,” or morphing into monopolies that control too many aspects of consumers’ lives.
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    The question regarding should big tech be prevented from offering banking services is too broad. I can only opine regarding certain banking services with a lot of ‘where as’ and ‘what for’ disclaimers. First, any banking service needs to have the same regulation and oversight as any traditional banking service irrespective of who offers it. Crypto currency services, if offered, needs clear rules and regulations regarding it’s use no matter who offers it- financial services or tech platforms. While the ability to rapidly exchange funds is attractive, the anonymity currently afforded crypto currency transactions could easily be abused by foreign governments and illegal enterprises. I do not want to ‘institutionalize’ money laundering by tech companies or banking institutions until the anonymity aspect is removed. Putting these services on broadly used social media sites is way too open to all kinds of abuse and if readily and broadly available, could be used by adversaries as a tool to destabilize financial markets and the overall economy. In terms of simple transaction services like credit card transactions, bill payment or gifts of money expedited by big tech platforms- I see very little to be concerned with since the banks and underwriting credit card institutions have rules, regulations and oversight, and have records of what went where and when. Finally, the access to personal data which could be abused is a big issue and the misuse of personal data collected by big tech platforms or big bank institutions should be punished severely, even if such use was ‘accidental’. The transfer of personal data from big tech platforms to big data operators supports one of the biggest hidden industries in existence today which generally knows more about each of us then we actually know about ourselves; they buy this data from a variety of sources, digest and compile it, and sell it to anyone interested in monitoring or influencing you or I individually or people within highly selective demographic groups. The trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica which used Facebook data and big data sources to develop psychological profiles of voters in key electoral college swing districts, to use proven military grade psy-ops targeted messaging to influence select voters in order to capture electoral college votes. I think that penalties on the sale or purchase of such data is needed and that any platform which accidentally or intentionally abuses their stewardship of personal data should be severely fined and barred from offering banking-like services of any kind for a period of say 5 years- and that any tech platform that has accidentally or intentionally abused their stewardship of our personal data within the past 5 years should not be permitted to offer banking services of any kind. In short, crypto-currency: no until anonymity is removed. General bank transactions: yes , if proper stewardship of personal data is demonstrated and is not abused.
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    As a retired bank executive,I urge federal legislation to restrict all banking activities to the highly regulated banking industry. The reason banks are regulated is enormous impact on individuals and society. Risks are mitigated by government restrictions and controls and an appropriate adversarial relationship between banks and government regulators.We saw first hand,the damage that can be done not only to the US,but to world economies,when political and other inappropriate incentives weaken the kinds of checks and balances that results from this adversarial tension. Tech companies already have an enormous concentration of power on all societies,increasing such powers is unwise and dangerous.
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    I agree with burkitty. Dressing up like a sheep does not change the wolf! Whatever you want to name it, this is bad for people!
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    Do You real want a monopoly, invasion of privacy, your life open up to the world and corporate government with no accountability, until its to late? That is what corporations will do after the fact, a knee jerk reaction!
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    We need many regulations to ensure our money is protected when we make a deposit. And, we need to re-establish banking regulations to keep banks and mortgage companies from going under again
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    This smacks of the “company store” where the workers got paid in money other than government issued money & then had to spend their pay in a store run by the company. Only federally licensed entities should be able to BE A BANK. This whole idea is crazy and sounds iffy at best. So many things could go wrong.
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    Libra would: Centralize corporate control by giving Facebook more power, undermining sovereign states and giving the corporate interests behind the project the ability to distort global currencies or undermine governments at will. Promote tax dodging and money laundering by making it easier for people to hide their money in a new network with global reach. Erode freedom with no clear limits on Facebook's ability to use data from Libra purchases, bake racist discrimination into its algorithms, change the rules in the future or demand that employees take payment in currency it controls. Put consumers at risk with none of the guarantees, oversight and protections found in traditional banking.
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    Another confusing question. Yes they shouldn’t. But some conservative judges feel a need to payback those who put them on the Supreme Court so they claim unlimited contributions to campaigns (bribery) is free speech and compromised politicians will allow it.
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    No, these tech companies have no business in the banking industry.
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    Yes of course! We don’t need yet another reason to distrust tech. And then combine with another extremely distrusted industry in banking? Come on guys! A maelstrom of distrust this country does NOT need! Tech stays tech, and banking stays banking. And never the twain shall meet, please!
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    Banking is a totally different business. Tech already has control of much of our personal lives. They need to stay in line with their original mission statement.
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    These big tech companies are ruining the country by pushing into multiple different industries and using their financial muscle to strip the consumer of choice.
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    First step in trust-busting big tech. Next? Designation as media company subject to liability laws.
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    Been done and didn’t work well
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    We should not stop technology from progressing. What needs to be done is applying financial regulations to the emerging online banking sector.
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    Monopolies destroy economies. Stop letting billionaires write public policy!
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    Since when are monopolies considered a good thing, even if it is the logical conclusion of a pure capitalist economic and financial system?
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