California Reinvestment Coalition

Are Banks Targeting Immigrants?

Published August 01, 2018 19:34

Recent reports allege that Bank of America and possibly other financial institutions have taken steps to close bank accounts belonging to non-citizens, as well as requested information about customers that has resulted in the closure of accounts belonging to immigrants. 

“The practice of targeting immigrants for discrimination is unacceptable and illegal,” said Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC). “We are concerned that banks are taking steps that are unnecessary and not required by federal law. Such actions discourage immigrant customers from opening bank accounts, despite having the same banking rights as anyone else.”

CRC’s Here to Stay campaign has focused on building financial security and economic opportunity for and with immigrant families. Part of this crucial work involves working with banks to make sure that they are providing the products and services that immigrants need to attain financial security.

This includes providing affordable checking and savings accounts to customers that don't have social security numbers but have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), matricula cards, or other forms of identification.

CRC is asking community organizations and individuals to share any information they have about banks closing or denying accounts based on citizenship status, immigration status, race, or ethnicity.

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CRC has a membership of over 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.