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Washington, D.C. – Shareholder activists with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) will close out their most active shareholder season to date by presenting a proposal at Mastercard’s annual shareholder meeting that seeks to protect civil liberties and address the problem of financial institutions “debanking” conservative organizations and individuals.

FEP’s proposal at Mastercard (Proposal #6) requests that the Board of Directors conduct an evaluation and issue a report detailing how it oversees risks related to discrimination against individuals based on their race, color, religion (including religious views), sex, national origin, or political views, and whether such discrimination may impact individuals’ exercise of their constitutionally protected civil rights.

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

“As shareholders of Mastercard, we believe it is of great import that the company respect civil rights by identifying potential factors that may contribute to discrimination in the provision of services based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or social, political, or religious views,” said FEP Director Scott Shepard.

“We are particularly concerned with recent evidence of religious and political discrimination by companies in the financial services industry, as detailed in the Viewpoint Diversity Statement on Debanking and Free Speech,” noted Shepard. “When companies engage in this kind of discrimination, they hinder the ability of individuals, groups and businesses to access and equally participate in the marketplace and instead skew it to their own ends.”

“The Statement on Debanking and Free Speech identified many companies in the financial services industry that frequently include vague and subjective standards in their policies like ‘hate speech’ or promoting ‘intolerance’ that allow employees to deny or restrict service for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons,” added Shepard.

“These actions and policies are an affront to public trust, destabilize the market, and threaten the ability of American citizens to live freely and do business according to their deeply held convictions,” concluded Shepard. “Mastercard also maintains that it promotes good social policy and diversity, equity and inclusion practices. It is important for the shareholders to know that Mastercard is adhering to its own standards by serving diverse consumers without regard to their beliefs or other factors.”

Mastercard’s annual shareholder meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, June 27 at 8:30AM ET and can be viewed here.

More information about this proposal, as well as other key votes for this week, can be found in FEP’s weekly proxy votes newsletter.

The Free Enterprise Project’s new Proxy Navigator Annual Voter Guide can be downloaded here.

To be notified when the companion Proxy Navigator app is available, subscribe here.


The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for the Free Enterprise Project. Sign up for email updates at

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Author: The National Center