Bank of America will begin asking about citizenship status

Bank of America says it plans to ask all customers about their citizenship. (Photo courtesy of Bank of America)

Bank of America has begun asking some of its account holders to disclose their citizenship status, sounding off alarms to some in the Seattle community.

Univision Seattle reports that Maria Parker, who has had an account for 19 years, was confronted with the question “Do you have dual citizenship?” when she logged onto her online Bank of America account.

Parker told reporter Pablo Gaviria that she won’t answer the question and if it becomes a requirement, she doesn’t mind moving to another bank.

“I think the information received from this question could be used for other reasons,” she told the TV station in Spanish.

Parker added, “there’s been reports of other information being used to report people to immigration.”

A Bank of America spokesperson told Univision Seattle that they will continue to ask Parker to update her information through mail or phone calls.

In January The Seattle Times published a report revealing that the Department of Licensing had been releasing the information of undocumented immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A spokesperson for Bank of America said the bank has to collect that information because they aren’t legally allowed to provide services to people from countries the U.S. has economic sanctions against.

But the spokesperson said a person who has U.S. citizenship can still use their account even if they are also citizens of a sanctioned country.

Bank of America plans on eventually asking all of their account holders whether or not they have dual citizenship, the spokesperson said.

3 Comments

  1. I have recently noticed these questions as well. Up to now, Bank of America is the only bank that has asked me the citizenship question. I do not have immigration issues and do not need to hide my status, but I have doubts that what they are doing is legal and here is why: if the interdiction to provide services to some countries is a federal requirement, why don’t other banks ask the same question?
    I refused to answer the question and will continue to do so.

  2. I have recently noticed these questions as well. Up to now, Bank of America is the only bank that has asked me the citizenship question. I do not have immigration issues and do not need to hide my status, but I have doubts that what they are doing is legal and here is why: if the interdiction to provide services to some countries is a federal requirement, why don’t other banks ask the same question?
    I refused to answer the question and will continue to do so.

  3. I have had several accounts with Bank of America for over 38 years now—checking, savings, credit cards, and my mortgage—all joint accounts with my husband. Bank of America suddenly keeps asking me about dual citizenship when I log on. However, they do not ask my husband when he logs onto online banking. I feel like this is discriminatory because my name is Spanish even though I am not, and my husband has an Anglo name. I am not a dual citizen, but I refuse to answer because it’s none of their business. Is their a federal bank regulatory agency to which I can address a complaint about this discriminatory practice?

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