Calls to Boycott Bank of America Grow Amid Claims of Discriminating Against Trump Supporters and Churches

By: Georgia | Published: Apr 22, 2024

Bank of America is under scrutiny for allegedly discriminating against conservative and Christian groups by closing their accounts. 

This action has prompted officials from twelve Republican-led states to demand clarity and accountability from the bank, seeking to understand the rationale behind these account terminations.

Growing Boycott Calls Against Bank of America

Bank of America is caught in a whirlwind of controversy as boycott calls mount. The issue at hand? Allegations that the bank is closing accounts based on the political views of its customers.

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A person from behind, looking towards a stage, wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lately, numerous individuals linked to the MAGA movement and the Republican Party have expressed their displeasure, accusing the bank of engaging in what’s known as “de-banking,” a form of discriminatory practice.

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The Case of John Eastman Intensifies Criticism

The spotlight intensified when John Eastman, former lawyer for Donald Trump, stepped forward with claims that both Bank of America and USAA closed his accounts. 

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Portrait of John Eastman, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, with the American flag in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to Eastman, this action was taken in response to his legal attempts to challenge the 2020 election results. His account closure came shortly after a judge proposed disbarment due to his conduct, further sparking outrage and suggesting a trend where individuals are targeted for their political involvement and affiliations.

Calls for Boycott Spread on Social Media

Newsweek reports that the drive to boycott Bank of America is picking up steam on social media. A significant number of pro-Trump and MAGA-supportive accounts are calling for action against the bank. 

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A close-up view of a red "Make America Great Again" hat worn by an individual in a crowd

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This movement highlights a deep-seated worry among some groups that financial institutions might be wielding their influence to suppress or penalize customers based on their political and religious convictions. 

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach Spearheads Inquiry

The Daily Mail reports that Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has taken a prominent role in addressing these concerns by writing directly to Bank of America’s CEO. 

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Kris Kobach, standing in front of microphones with an American flag and state flag in the background, addressing the media

Source: KrisKobach1787/X

His letter, which is co-signed by officials from several other states, requests detailed explanations and documents concerning the bank’s account cancellation policies.

Multi-State Coalition Forms

A coalition consisting of states like Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah has formed to address this issue collectively. 

An exterior view of a Bank of America branch with the bank's signage above the entrance and an ATM on the side

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These states have officially co-signed the letter demanding answers and actions from Bank of America regarding its practices.

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Allegations of Conditioning Services on Political, Religious Views

The core of the controversy is captured in a quote from Kobach’s letter, where he states, “Unfortunately, Bank of America appears to be conditioning access to its services on customers having the bank’s preferred religious or political views.” 

Night view of a city street covered in snow with a tall skyscraper lit in red and blue on the skyline

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This allegation suggests a potential misuse of power to discriminate against certain groups based on their beliefs.

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Involvement in Federal Investigations

Further complicating the situation, it has been revealed by the Daily Mail that Bank of America provided private consumer financial data to the FBI and U.S. Treasury to assist in investigations related to the January 6 Capitol protest. 

A crowded pro-Trump rally with participants holding various signs and American flags in a winter setting

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This action raises questions about the privacy and political neutrality of the bank’s operations.

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Specific Examples of Account Closures

The letter details specific instances where Christian groups such as Timothy Two Project International, Indigenous Advance, and Servants of Christ had their accounts canceled

Silhouette of a standalone cross against a dusk sky with pink and blue hues

Source: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

For example, Kobach cites that the Timothy Two Project had its account canceled by Bank of America for “operating a business type we have chosen not to service.”

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Bank of America’s Response to Allegations

In response to these allegations, a representative for Bank of America stated, “Religious beliefs are not a factor in any account-closing decision.” 

Twilight view of the Charlotte skyline with buildings illuminated, including the Bank of America Corporate Center

Source: BankOfAmerica/X

The bank also emphasized its commitment to serving nonprofit organizations affiliated with various faith communities across the United States.

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Potential Legal and Regulatory Risks

Kobach’s letter warns of the potential legal risks Bank of America faces by engaging in these practices. 

Close-up of the Bank of America sign mounted on an overhead pedestrian bridge with a modern building in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He notes, “Your discriminatory behavior is a serious threat to free speech and religious freedom, is potentially illegal, and is causing political and regulatory backlash.” 

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Awaiting Bank of America’s Response

The bank is expected to respond within 30 days of receiving the letter, as stated by Kobach. 

Daytime view of the entrance to Founders Hall at the Bank of America Corporate Center, with green trees in the foreground and clear blue sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The outcome of this inquiry could set a precedent for how banks address and manage accounts linked to specific political and religious affiliations, potentially influencing future banking regulations and practices.

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