NBC’s sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” recently came under scrutiny for a segment where they suggested the term “de-banking” was a fabrication by former President Donald Trump. The jest was made during the “Weekend Update” portion of the show, with cast member Colin Jost expressing confusion over the term “de-bank” used by Trump in a recent speech.
Jost joked, “I don’t know what the hell de-bank means, but you might have to take ‘de-ambulance’ to see ‘de-doctor.’” However, the term “de-banking,” also known as “de-risking,” is an established banking industry term. It refers to the practice of banks closing accounts of individuals or organizations perceived as posing legal, financial, or reputational risks.
The comedy sketch quickly made rounds on social media platforms, with numerous users criticizing the show for its lack of understanding of a term that has gained prominence in recent years. Prominent conservative voices like Steve Guest and Doug Powers from Twitchy voiced their disapproval, with Guest calling out the “woke smugness” of SNL.
SNL did a segment mocking Trump for using the word de-bank:
"Trump introduced an interesting new term: de-banking. I don't know what the hell de-bank even means."
This is what happens when you live in your own echo chamber.
Not one SNL writer or audience member realized that… pic.twitter.com/oUKZjFa1SL
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) January 28, 2024
Michael Oxford, a candidate for the California State Senate, drew parallels between the SNL incident and a similar situation involving Dennis Prager and Bill Maher. He warned, “The left doesn’t realize what’s happening, until it’s too late.” Meanwhile, writer Scott Adams wittily remarked, “The left debanks while the right debunks.”
The left debanks while the right debunks.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) January 28, 2024
The term “de-banking” gained further attention in 2022 when accounts linked to the Canadian Freedom Convoy protests were frozen or seized. It also became a topic of international discussion when Nigel Farage, the former leader of Brexit, accused UK bank Coutts of closing his account due to his political beliefs.
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) January 28, 2024
In 2023, the Christian organization Indigenous Advanced Ministries based in Tennessee claimed that Bank of America “de-banked” their accounts because of their religious views. Despite the bank’s claim that the closure was due to its “internal debt collection policy,” neither the organization nor Fox News Digital received a copy of this said policy.
The term “de-banking” has thus become a growing concern, especially among conservative figures and organizations. This incident serves as a reminder that the world of banking and finance has its own jargon, and understanding these terms is crucial in today’s socio-political climate.