On Thursday, Citigroup, the 4th largest bank in the nation, announced a new policy that will require “new retail sector clients or partners” to follow “best practices” regarding the sale of firearms and certain accessories, including bump stocks. The policy is wide-reaching, applying to “small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners.”
The bank will require retail clients to restrict the sale of firearms to persons under the age of 21, as well as make passing a background check a mandatory part of the sale, regardless of whether it is received before the closing of the three-day window as identified in the current law.
It also restricts retailers from selling high-capacity magazines as well as bump stocks.
Ed Skyler, the head of global public affairs at Citi, stated in a blog post that the change “is not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms.”
“That is not what we seek,” he continued. “There are millions of Americans who use firearms for recreational and other legitimate purposes, and we respect their constitutional right to do so.”
“But,” Skyler added, “we want to do out part as a company to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.”
“We know our clients also care about these issues,” he continued, “and we have begun to engage with them in the hope that they will adopt these best practices over the coming months,” a statement indicating that current clients may also be impacted by the policy change.
Citi asserts that it will respect the decision of those who do not want to adhere to the policy and that the bank will “work with them to transition their business away from Citi.”
According to a Citigroup blog post, “Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label. It doesn’t impact the ability of consumers to use their Citi cards at merchants of their choice.”
As of December 31, according to a report by Reuters, Citi had $1.8 trillion in total assets, and the new policy is unlikely to have a significant direct impact on the bank.