Bank of America seems to have a habit of pissing people off. Last time they caused a stir, it was over the “Bank of Amigo” fiasco around early 2007, where they were allowing new loans, cards, etc. to be opened without Social Security numbers in many offices around southern California, effectively endorsing illegal immigration. I had been a customer with them for about 7 years, coming in as a Fleet customer before their merger. I was furious with Bank of America over this issue at the time, and began looking for another bank.
Fortunately for me, this turned out to be a good thing, as I found USAA during this search. USAA offers the best rates and yields over their competitors (including BoA), and convenience options like depositing a check at home from the computer, which was unheard of for a consumer account back then. They were also the first bank to offer a deposit option from a mobile phone too. I also found a better insurance premium than I had before (with GEICO, who I also later found out was anti-gun). I subsequently moved about 7 or 8 accounts, from checking, savings, credit and an auto loan to USAA and I have never looked back.
Bank of America is now at it again in the news, this time targeting gun makers. Meet Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms, his sales have skyrocketed 500 percent lately, due to the political climate these days. Due to this increase in volume, Bank of America froze his accounts. After going through hours jumping through hoops trying to get to the right person, Joe finally reached a manager in the right department who told him his accounts were on hold for further review, and her exact words he says: ‘We believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the Internet.’ (emphasis added)
If you’re a customer of Bank of America, I would truly urge you to call them and voice your opinion over this. It is absolutely asinine for bank manager to weigh in his politics to a business owner, who has all the proper federal licensing and is frequently audited by the ATF for accountability, on what he should or shouldn’t be selling. It is one thing if there is a specific policy written by the company, that forbids certain business types from opening accounts, but personal opinion of the employee has no place there.
Further account from Joe is on his post on Facebook, a subsequent post stating he has recovered most of the deposits by fighting them and I guess pressure from other sides, and that he has opened up an account with another local institution.
It’s not just the manager though, this is apparently not the first time Bank of America has targeted the gun industry. McMillan Group International was reportedly told that its business was no longer welcome after the company started manufacturing firearms – even after 12 years of doing business with the bank.