Bank of America is freezing accounts of US citizens for not proving residency status

Originally published at:


“This poorly regulated industry is engaged in activities that are deplorable. Therefore, I wish that an even less regulated alternative industry becomes the default, because wishing that regulatory oversight of the original industry be improved and strengthened to prevent it from doing bad things is unimaginable to me.”


Yeah that’s basically what I came to post. What this story makes me hope is that (1) society will rediscover the idea of actually regulating banks and other critical services, and (2) people in every kind of job will start understanding that whatever your employer says, it is always your job to consider whether what you are doing is fucking evil, and if so, not do it.


I love my Credit Union… Not sure if our BOA visa card is still legit as the spouse has the primary name on it. She got asked that shit and was all nope. I know it isn’t my wallet anymore.


Not just BoA


While I agree with you about cryptocurrencies not being a solution (other than maybe heating a cold apartment) I am also skeptical of putting too much hope in regulation. What if regulations required banks to pull this sort of shit? Sounds like something this administration would back.


My own response to that line was more along the lines of, "Oh fuck no. Especially since I was just reading an article about how the move to digital currencies (of various kinds) tends to hurt the poor.


How much of this is their own decision and how much is fear of Washington?

After all, why would a bank actually care if you’re here legally?

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Does everyone here realize that the only industry more regulated than banking involves nuclear materiel?

Once again, I detect a failure of imagination, a stunted ability to conceive of a world in which governments quake in fear of the will of the people and do the right thing because if they did not they would lose power.

Such is the fruit of Reagan, Thatcher, and the conservative right wing’s decades long attempt to brainwash the public into thinking that black is white, up is down, and the power of government can only be put to evil uses.


Ah, a visitor from an alternative reality in which the economic crash of 2008 was not the fault of an unregulated financial industry run amok. Welcome!


Fuck all major banks. I do all my financial transactions through my local CU, including my mortgage.


You’re living in trump’s world. That’s his kind of reasoning.

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So… while an account is frozen. is the bank still earning on that money?
When does it stop being your money and start being the banks?
When it is deposited?
When they say it is?
And, from whence comes the money used to convince a person to become a customer of said bank?
From frozen accounts?

Is the effect basically that one is spending ones own money in order to be coerced into becoming a customer only to have ones money become the banks; rinse, lather, repeat?

So is it “late stage capitalism” or “Christ what assholes” or both?


This is the kind of story that makes me hope cryptocurrencies take off in a big way and replace banks.

Possibly the worst thing I’ve heard in a long time


What do you expect from the Bank of Amerikkka?


This is the highest ranked list of regulated industries that I could find via web search:

Lenders show up at #4 (no mention of nuclear material in the top ten). When you compare that list to the list of top lobbying industries (, the banking industry shows up at #9, spending a paltry 100 million dollars of their credit default swap-based largesse on fighting off regulation.


Banks are indeed heavily regulated. And once in a while, those regulations are even enforced, resulting in the stiffest of finger-wags, wrist-slaps, and even executive ass-kissing by Congress.


A bank CLOSED my account where I paid all kinds of bills to take care of things at home, while living overseas (ING direct, now Capital One). They found out that we were not in the United States at the moment, while I was calling about getting some other issue resolved. “OK, we’re going to close this account, right now,” the agent said, with an urgent tone of voice, the same sort of voice a Walmart employee used once, accusing me of shoplifting (because the item was already in my backpack, and even though I showed her the receipt).

“Our accounts are for residents only, sorry.” “I AM a resident of [name of state]!” “But you don’t live here now.” “I’m a US Citizen!” “That doesn’t matter, you’re not a resident.” I am of Asian descent, and my legal name is still “exotic sounding.”

I had another account with another US bank, so he offered to send my remaining balance to that bank, and closed my account. I suppose it would have been more profitable for them to just freeze my account, like BofA did. I was so flummoxed I don’t know if I asked to talk to a manager.

I can understand that the policy may have been there to prevent headaches from “off-shore” accounts of foreigners, but I remember the feeling getting off that call like I always did with so many encounters in the US. Embarrassed, trying to figure out what I did wrong, that I didn’t “truly” belong, that I’m wrong for just being who I am. In each case I start out thinking I was just taking care of routine errands, and then being talked to condescendingly and finding myself in an ever-escalating situation, either suddenly resolved without much apology or I have to decide to just walk away and try not to let it ruin my mood the whole week.

… by carefully piecing together a “reasonable explanation.” Just like the first sentence of the previous paragraph. I ask, “can you at least tell me the reason behind this policy? How does this make sense?” I know I’ve gotten the answer, “people like YOU are the reason” more than once or twice.

It’s bad enough when soulless machines do it (like merging my credit report with other Asian-Americans that have different social security numbers, addresses and wildly different sounding names). Righteous employees and officials will do it without flinching, looking right into my eyes.


Came here to say that so, seconded!

Fuck big money, in all forms.