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On April 22, the Governor of Tennessee signed HB 2100 into law. This new law, an amendment to the state’s consumer protection codes, introduces protections for consumers against discrimination by financial institutions and insurers in their service offerings.

Under HB 2100, financial institutions and insurers are expressly prohibited from basing the provision or denial of services on:

  • a person’s political views, speech, or affiliations;
  • a person’s religious convictions, practices, or affiliations;
  • any factor if it is not a “quantitative, impartial, and risk-based standard, including any such factor related to the person’s business sector;” or
  • the “use of a rating, scoring, analysis, tabulation, or action that considers a social credit score” based on factors including lawful firearm ownership, involvement in fossil fuel industries, support for government immigration policies, or the extent to which a person meets environmental, social governance, corporate board composition, social justice, or diversity, equity, and inclusion standards so long as they are in compliance with state or federal law.

A violation of HB 2100 constitutes an “unfair trade practice” under state law. The law is slated to take effect on July 1, 2024.

Putting it into Practice: Tennessee’s new law is in response to the perceived “de-banking” of conservative groups based on their political or religious viewpoints. It will be interesting to see if such de-banking legislation becomes a trend for other states, and whether Tennessee’s law will face legal challenges. In the meantime, financial institutions operating in the state should review their lending policies to ensure they are in compliance with the newest legislation. We will continue to monitor the case for further developments.