Bank of America Reportedly Froze Some Accounts After Asking Customers About Their Citizenship
It is a fact the American law does not require citizenship to open a bank account. Nor should it. Xenophobia is a terrible business model and attitude. Businessmen come here and do business, that’s called economic activity.
In order to get a bank account in the U.S., customers need to provide their name, date of birth, address and an identification number, which may or may not indicate a person’s citizenship, federal regulators say.
But recent reports show that banks are also explicitly asking for an individual’s country of citizenship…
…As part of that protocol, banks must collect a taxpayer identification number; for a “non-U.S. person,” there are other options if he or she does not have the taxpayer number. Among them are a passport number with country of issuance or an alien identification number, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which develops standards for federal monitoring of financial institutions….
The Miami Herald in an article Thursday recounted how a PhD student from Iran who was studying at the University of Miami had his Bank of America account frozen after documentation he had provided as proof of legal residency was not accepted.