Country music legend John Rich, conservative commentator Larry Elder, and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson purchased a bank in order to promote American values and oppose cancel culture in the financial system.
The three co-founders and stockholders cleared regulatory hurdles to acquire First State Bank of Elmore City, Oklahoma, the state’s first and oldest bank, and will rename the financial institution Old Glory Bank. According to a press release, the company will “never cancel law-abiding customers for their beliefs or for exercising their lawful rights of free speech.”
“It’s been dismaying to see the political weaponization of the financial system,” Rich commented. “Old Glory Bank was created to be the full banking solution for folks who still believe in freedom and the greatness of America.”
Old Glory Bank clients will be permitted to round up to the nearest dollar every time they make a transaction and donate the funds to charity, including Oklahoma nonprofit organization Folds of Honor, which provides academic scholarships for the spouses and children of fallen soldiers. Among other leaders in the venture is William Shine, the former co-president of Fox News and president of Fox Business News, who serves as executive chairman.
The bank, which will be backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, plans to openly support first responders and the military, as well as offer no-fee accounts, free overdraft protection, and early direct deposit access. Old Glory Bank Senior Regulatory Officer Bennett Brown said that “cutting-edge digital technology” will permit customers from across the nation to access the company’s services.
“Old Glory Bank will serve lower- and middle-income Americans and those Americans that other banks have marginalized and ignored, hard-working patriots who keep this country running every day,” added Carson, who worked as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University before leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump administration.
The venture comes as established financial institutions grow increasingly hostile toward free expression. PayPal, which has deplatformed multiple organizations and commentators for their political views, unveiled a change to its acceptable use policy two months ago that would have banned the promotion of “misinformation” and drawn $2,500 penalties from account holders deemed to be in violation. Within one day of The Daily Wire reporting on the policy change, however, PayPal reversed the guidelines and claimed that they had been published “in error.”
PayPal trended on social media after the retracted acceptable use policy garnered public attention, leading thousands of customers to balk at the move and cancel their accounts. The company’s stock price fell precipitously in subsequent trading.
Other companies, such as Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook, have sanctioned conservatives over their positions on controversial social issues, including transgenderism, vaccine mandates, and homosexuality. GoFundMe seized millions raised for trucker protests in Canada earlier this year, while Google began suppressing search results for crisis pregnancy centers.
“Greater encroachment by large technology and financial companies into public speech will only exacerbate Americans’ increasing mistrust of such institutions,” members of the Senate wrote in a letter to PayPal executives. “Policies that empower companies to punish individuals’ beliefs by acting as arbiters of fact in our ever-changing news and public debate environment represent poor business decisions. Instead, large technology and financial institutions should focus on serving the needs of their customers without bias.”