22 State Banking Officials Say They Will Not Tolerate Bias As Price for Arab Investments

The American Jewish Committee reported today that 22 state banking commissioners, from all parts of the country, have indicated that they would tolerate no discrimination by any state banks under their jurisdiction as the price for accepting Arab investments or deposits in their institutions. Elmer L, Winter, president of the AJ Committee, said that at least seven other state commissioners were considering similar steps but had not as yet officially replied to the organization.

The action of the various state officials came in response to a request by the AJ Committee, asking them to issue directives to their state banks making it clear that religious or racial discrimination by them would not be tolerated. The request followed reports that some banks may have been offered large deposits by foreign investors on condition that no Jew serve on the bank’s board of directors or control any significant portion of its stock.

The AJCommittee’s request to the state commissioners also followed the action of James E.Smith, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, reminding federally-chartered banks to avoid any such discrimination. Among the strongest actions taken were those by the state banking authorities in ill., Mass., N.H., and N.Y.

Other states whose banking commissioners indicated agreement with the need to maintain non-discrimination in banking practices included Calif., Colo., Ga., Idaho, Iowa, Kan., Mo., Montana, Neb., N.M., Ore., Pa., S.D., Tenn., Texas, Utah, Va., and Wyo.

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