In April 2023, Bank of America canceled the accounts of Memphis-based Christian charity Indigenous Advance and a local church that supports it financially. The bank sent letters stating that the ministry and church were “operating in a business type we have chosen not to service” and that the ministry’s account “no longer aligns with the bank’s risk tolerance.” In operation since 2015, Indigenous Advance partners with Ugandan ministries to provide basic necessities for orphaned and vulnerable children, raise Christian families, and provide vital vocational skills training and mentorship to college students and young adults.
The former leader of Brexit, Farage was de-banked by Coutts, a private bank affiliated with British banking group NatWest. A 40-page internal document confirmed that bank employees who decided to cancel Farage’s account acknowledged his “sufficien[cy] to retain on a commercial basis, but believed his political views—including on gender identity, COVID-19 policy, and illegal immigration—were not consistent with Coutts’ “position as an inclusive organization.”
In 2022, JPMorgan Chase closed the bank account of the National Committee for Religious Freedom, a nonprofit (c)(4) that was recently founded by former Senator and U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback. After repeated requests to reinstate the account, Chase informed NCRF that it would only consider doing so if the non-profit agreed to disclose confidential donor information and more. Over the course of the next year, Chase offered no fewer than five contradictory explanations for why it canceled the account—including a false claim from CEO Jamie Dimon at the annual shareholder meeting that NCRF’s representatives had simply failed to “fill out all the forms.”
In 2023, Bank of America sent a letter to Christian author, preacher, and podcaster Lance Wallnau informing him that it had frozen his account. Bank of America told Wallnau that it suspected his account was involved in money laundering and forced him to answer a series of invasive questions to lift the freeze on his account.
Media Coverage: CBN
In 2020, Bank of America sent a letter to Timothy Two Project International informing the Christian ministry that it was canceling its account because Timothy Two was “operating a business type we have chosen not to service.” The ministry trains pastors in over 65 countries in some of the most impoverished areas of the world, and had held a Bank of America account since 2011.
Media Coverage: Washington Examiner
In 2017, Wells Fargo payment processor “Vanco Payment Solutions” notified Christian nonprofit The Ruth Institute that it was terminating its “processing relationship,” effective immediately. The letter went on to say that The Ruth Institute “has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”
In 2021, JPMorgan Chase credit card processor “WePay” informed the Arkansas Family Council that it was terminating the group’s account. No reason was given at the time, but Arkansas Family Council eventually discovered the company had designated them as “High Risk”—presumably for their religious and political views.
Media Coverage: Arkansas Family Council
In 2021, JPMorgan Chase credit card processor “WePay” initially denied payment processing services to mainstream GOP-affiliated Defense of Liberty, forcing the group to cancel an event featuring Donald Trump, Jr. Chase initially cited terms of service which said they would not serve anyone who promotes “hate, violence, racial intolerance, terrorism, the financial exploitation of a crime[.],” but backed down after facing public pressure, including from U.S. Senator Josh Hawley and Missouri treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, and allowed payments to process.
In 2023, JPMorgan Chase sent notices of cancelation to multiple companies owned by outspoken COVID-19 policy critic Dr. Joseph Mercola. Citing “unexpected activity on this or another Chase account” as rationale for the closures, the bank also closed personal bank accounts of Mercola company executives and their family members. While Chase has denied that it closed the accounts for “political affiliations,” it has declined to provide former account-holders specific reasons for the closures.
In 2021, JPMorgan Chase abruptly canceled credit cards belonging to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, citing “possible reputational risk to our company.” Following high-profile opposition to the move that included Chase reversed its decision within two weeks, issuing a public apology to Lt. Gen. Flynn and his household.
Media Coverage: Washington Examiner
In 2022, PayPal disabled the account of a group called the Free Speech Union without explanation. PayPal eventually cited its “acceptable use policy”, which allows the company to take action against account holders whose views they find objectionable. PayPal further justified its actions by publicly stating: “Achieving the balance between protecting the ideals of tolerance, diversity and respect for people of all backgrounds and upholding the values of free expression and open dialogue can be difficult, but we do our best to achieve it.” PayPal reinstated the Free Speech Union only after facing significant public backlash.
PayPal’s terms of service allow it to take action against users engaged in the undefined activity of “the promotion of hate” and “racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory”. In October 2022, PayPal added a prohibition against all “objectionable” activity and threatening a $2,500 fine to potential violators. This reliance on unclear and subjective language is an invitation for PayPal employees to discriminate against groups with views they dislike.
Media Coverage: Daily Wire
Andrew Sorrell currently serves as Alabama State Auditor. In 2020, a credit card belonging to one of his businesses—a federally licensed firearms dealer—was canceled with no explanation by a large national commercial bank. A year later, a credit card processor affiliated with a different national bank but ties as well, again with no explanation.
Media Coverage: YellowHammerNews.com
In 2021, Truist closed the account of the Virginia Christian Alliance. The bank informed VCA that “some or all of … [its] account activity is not consistent with the intended purpose of the account.” Despite repeated attempts by the nonprofit to gain further clarity into the decision, Truist declined to provide its rationale for cancelling the account. Notably, the nonprofit had previously been tagged as an “Anti-Muslim” hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center from 2016 to 2019.
Media Coverage: N/A
Government records in Canada indicate that 837 individuals have been de-banked for ideological reasons. That number includes 267 bank accounts and 170 Bitcoin wallets that were closed as a result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on the Freedom Convoy, which peacefully protested government COVID-19 policy.
Media Coverage: Reclaim The Net