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Exactly why is Bank of America Asking Customers About Their Citizenship?

Exactly why is Bank of America Asking Customers About Their Citizenship?

Lenders discriminate against immigrants—and usually, it is completely appropriate.

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The reports began trickling in to online discussion boards and neighborhood news, beginning in 2017. From Reddit to your Kansas City celebrity, Washington to nyc, the tales all followed roughly equivalent pattern: Bank of America sent an individual a notice demanding details about their citizenship—and should they declined to respond to, their reports had been promptly frozen.

This tale ended up being produced with support through the Economic Hardship Reporting venture.

Bank of America explained it was necessary to ask the concern to comply with Treasury laws. It is true that US finance institutions must monitor their makes up about indications of cash laundering, and conform to any office of Foreign Assets Control’s financial sanctions on a few nations, including Iran, Cuba, and Syria. Under a split legislation, international banking institutions must gather citizenship information from People in america, basically to be able to find prospective tax-dodgers.

But domestically, they’re not needed to gather client citizenship information. In reality, Social protection figures aren’t also needed to start a merchant account. Shortly after Donald Trump’s election, in December 2016, a senior counsel for the United states Bankers Association said that “banks don’t track whether or perhaps not somebody is lawfully into the U.S. ”

Paulina Gonzalez, executive manager of this inclusion that is financial California Reinvestment Coalition, implies that Bank of America’s policy “raises questions regarding the part banking institutions will play in Trump’s America.