The second largest bank in America closed the accounts of a conservative, pro-life Christian charity that opposes same-sex marriage. Was it because the bank disagreed with their religious views? Here’s the whole story.
Indigenous Advanced Ministries Provides Support To Orphaned Children in Uganda
Indigenous Advanced Ministries is a nonprofit organization based out of Memphis, Tennessee. The group provides support to orphaned children in Uganda.
Without warning or explanation, Bank of America told the ministry that they were “operating in a business type we have chosen not to service,” and their accounts were closed.
Despite the organization’s credit and deposit accounts, they were told they would be closed in 30 days.
In another letter, the bank said its “risk profile no longer aligns with the bank’s risk tolerance.” The ministry held two accounts with the bank for almost ten years.
Accounts Were Closed Because Their “Internal Debt Collection Policy”
One account belonged to the ministry, and the second was associated with a church in Memphis that supported the ministry and other overseas missions.
Recently, a third account was opened for Indigenous Advance Customer Center. This was the ministry’s for-profit counterpart.
On the website for the Indigenous Advance Customer Center, they offer data entry, accounting, and collections services.
Bank of America told Fox News that the ministry’s accounts were closed because their “internal debt collection policy” doesn’t support accounts offering debt collection services.
“Proud To Provide Banking Services To Nonprofit Organizations Affiliated With Diverse Faith Communities”
Per the Indigenous Advance Customer Center’s website, they help their clients “recover overdue invoices.”
A Bank of America spokesman, Bill Halldin, said the bank was “proud to provide banking services to nonprofit organizations affiliated with diverse faith communities.” He added, “Religious beliefs are not a factor in any account-closing decision.”
Halldin also said, “Our U.S. division that serves small businesses doesn’t offer banking services to organizations that provide debt collection services.”
Indigenous had around $270,000 at Bank of America when the accounts were closed. They were forced to find a new company to bank with.
‘What Type of Business Do You Think We Are?’
Halldin said that “religious beliefs” are not a factor when the bank chooses to close an account. He added that Bank of America was “proud to provide banking services to nonprofit organizations affiliated with diverse faith communities.”
The founder of Indigenous Advance, Steve Happ, tried contacting the bank for answers but without success.
“I asked them, ‘What type of business do you think we are?’ and they wouldn’t answer me,” Happ told The Christian Post. He said he was told by the bank, “I’m sorry, we cannot give you that information.”
Happ said the bank’s actions “significantly disrupted” the ministry’s outreach and impact in Uganda.
The People of Uganda “Live Day to Day, Trying To Find Where They’re Going To Find Their Next Meal”
Not only did the Indigenous Advance staff not receive their payroll checks, the organization couldn’t send donations to ministry partners.
Happ said the Ugandans who depend on Indigenous Advanced Ministries for their next meal were left without food.
According to Happ, the people of Uganda “live day to day, trying to find where they’re going to find their next meal.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom was outraged over the move by Bank of America. They said, “You shouldn’t have to fear being de-banked because of your beliefs.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: Fox News