Bank of America Freezes Family’s Accounts After Demanding Proof of Citizenship
A Kansas couple says Bank of America blocked access to the account they’ve had with the bank since the early 2000s after they ignored a form demanding proof of citizenship from the husband, who happens to be a native of Wichita.
Josh Collins and Jessica Salazar Collins say they assumed the form was a scam, given their long relationship with the bank, but when they showed up at a bank branch, access was denied, with a flag next to Josh’s name saying “citizenship”. The account was unfrozen after he supplied a driver’s license.
Bank of America, which recently moved to stop lending to companies that make assault rifles, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Fortune, but told the Kansas City Star it’s “required by law to maintain complete and accurate records for all of our customers and may periodically request information, such as country of citizenship and proof of U.S. residency”.
Other banking organizations, though, said proof of citizenship wasn’t federally required. Rather, banks only need the name, date of birth, address, and social security number of the account holders.
Bank of America, though, told the Star it is the company’s standard practice to inquire about citizen status when opening a new account or updating customer information on an existing one. And all customers will eventually receive update notices asking about their citizenship and dual citizenship status.
Those that don’t return the updates could face the same issue the Collins family did.