Bank Under Fire for Alleged Anti-Christian Discrimination

Bank of America Sign
Bank of America Sign | Image by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the United States, is under pressure from state financial officials regarding the institution’s purported track record of de-banking Christians and Christian organizations.

In a letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan dated April 18, financial officials representing 13 states raised concerns about the firm’s de-banking practices and discrimination against religious organizations, particularly Christian ministries.

“We write to express our concerns over Bank of America’s troubling track record of politicized de-banking. Bank of America’s de-banking policies and practices threaten the company’s financial health, its reputation with customers, our nation’s economy, and the civil liberties of everyday Americans,” the officials wrote.

They cited several examples of alleged religious discrimination, including Bank of America closing or freezing all accounts associated with the Memphis-based charity Indigenous Advance Ministries; the Timothy Two Project, a global missions agency that trains Christian pastors; and Christian author and speaker Lance Wallnau.

The officials claimed that Bank of America’s pattern of religious de-banking “strongly suggests that systemic drivers of religious and political bias may be at work” within the institution, pointing to the bank’s meager 8% on the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, a benchmark tool for measuring corporate respect for free speech and religious freedom.

Besides its allegedly discriminatory de-banking practices and “egregiously low” viewpoint diversity score, state officials also raised concerns about Bank of America voluntarily sharing its customers’ private financial data with the FBI as part of a financial surveillance scheme intended to identify “domestic violent extremists.”

In March, the House Judiciary Committee and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government published a report detailing how federal law enforcement had purportedly commandeered the largest financial institutions in the United States to spy on law-abiding Americans.

As previously covered by The Dallas Express, federal agencies had instructed institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and others to examine potential domestic terrorist activity by filtering customer’s financial transactions with keywords like “Cabela’s,” “Dick’s Sporting Goods,” “Bass Pro Shop,” “MAGA,” and “Trump.”

According to the report, “This financial surveillance was not predicated on any specific evidence of particularized criminal conduct, and, even worse, it keyed on terms and specific transactions that concerned core political and religious expression protected by the Constitution.”

In its letter to Bank of America, the state financial officers outlined five steps the CEO should take by May 17, 2024, to help restore faith in America’s financial institutions.

The five steps are as follows:

  1. Eliminate existing viewpoint discriminatory terms such as “intolerance” and “hate” from its Online Banking Service Agreement and “espouses hate” from its employee matching gift policy.
  2. Update its terms of service to include a commitment not to discriminate against customers based on their religious or political views.
  3. Participate in surveys like Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index to help assess its impact on customers’ and employees’ civil liberties.
  4. Withdraw from the United Nation’s Net-Zero Banking Alliance or explain what the institution will do if its existing clients do not reduce emissions enough for it to meet its emissions reduction targets.
  5. Allow shareholders to consider a de-banking proposal identified in its 2024 Proxy Statement.

The letter was signed by 15 officials representing Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.

However, Texas was not among the states that signed the letter. The Dallas Express contacted the Texas comptroller to find out why this matter was not a bigger concern for state officials but did not hear back by publishing.

Bank of America responded to a request for comment by denying the assertions made in the letter.

A representative told DX, “Given the large number of non-profits we serve that are affiliated with religious organizations, it’s absurd to think religious beliefs are a factor in any account closing decision. Very simply, they are not. The same applies re: conservatives … political viewpoints are not a factor in any account closing decision.”

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