The Department of Defense (DoD), under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, has issued its Access to Financial Institutions on Military Installations report to the leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee. The study, which details information on financial institutions serving military installations and examines the DoD’s policies to ensure access to financial services for the military community, was requested in the House report accompanying the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed late last year.
The study was precipitated by banker claims that military banks are leaving bases due to increased lease costs and that is hurting access to financial services for those in the military. Banks have lobbied for no-cost leases for banks to be included in the NDAA for the last several years.
However, In response to that concern, the DoD report underscored the consistent availability of financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, on military installations and highlighted that “military personnel and civilians increasingly have the option of obtaining banking services online and/or off-base” and that they are fully able to “engage in a wide range of financial services transactions with any number of financial services providers they choose at almost any time, regardless of where either party may be physically located.”
The report also noted how the DoD calculates the “in-kind” of services financial institutions provide on military installations, and whether that value can be used to “fully satisfy the fair market value requirement for leasing non-excess property” on military installations.
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