Banks blast rule that would force lending to oil, gun firms

Brian Brooks, the OCC’s interim chief, wants to bar banks from refusing to serve legal businesses — such as those in the oil, prison, and firearms industries — that they might otherwise avoid because of the potential for reputational harm. Under the rule, a bank must conduct a risk assessment on any prospective customer, and can’t refuse the business so long as the numbers are sound.

The OCC’s effort was initiated after Republican lawmakers complained about banks declining to finance energy projects, citing climate-change concerns. Lenders including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have also limited ties to the