Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Chase Bank Closes Christian Organization Account

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A nonpartisan, nonprofit faith-based organization led by a former United States Ambassador, former US Senator, and Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, says its Chase bank account was abruptly closed with little explanation.

The National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF), a 501(c)4 political action nonprofit whose stated mission is focused on “defending the right of everyone in America to live one's faith freely,” opened an account with Chase in April.

Within 20 days, Chase closed the account---with no explanation.

This is a trend.

Be informed, not misled.

Sam Brownback, NCRF chairman and former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom under the Trump administration, says that NCRF initially had a “very positive” experience with the bank.

But less than three weeks after it was opened, Chase informed NCRF on May 6 that the bank would be closing their account.

What's going on?

Earlier this year The New York Post reported this:

Conservative activists are calling out America’s largest financial institution, charging they are being targeted.

JPMorgan Chase is under fire for closing the bank accounts of several customers in the conservative movement as other right-wingers are threatening to close their accounts unless the bank plays nice.

“If Jamie Dimon can’t absolutely guarantee that Chase Bank won’t ever discriminate against conservatives, conservatives should consider banking elsewhere,” warned David Almasi, vice president of the conservative-leaning National Center for Public Policy Research, referring to JPMorgan’s chairman and CEO.

JPMorgan first landed in hot water soon after conservative activists Enrique Tarrio, Joe Biggs, Laura Loomer, and Martina Markota discovered their accounts at Chase were closed within weeks of each other earlier this year — and without satisfactory explanations, they claim.

Tarrio is a President Trump supporter and head of the Proud Boys organization. Several Chase managers could not give him a satisfactory reason for the account’s closure. One even called the closing “mind-boggling.”

Are they now turning on Christian organizations with which they disagree?

Brownback was given no explanation from Chase.

Brownback said there was “never an official cause given” when an NCRF official went to make a deposit into the account and a clerk said the account was closed.

According to Brownback, after NCRF Executive Director Justin Murff reached out for more information on the move, he was told the decision was made at the “corporate level.”

“It’s secret, it’s irrevocable, and that’s all the information we got,” added Brownback, who also served as a U.S. senator and governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018.

After Chase employees initially told NCRF they were “prohibited from providing any explanations” for the move, the bank later said NCRF failed to provide the requested documentation within 60 days — even though the account had only been open for 20 days.

After looking further into the issue, a representative from the Chase executive office identified only as “Chi-Chi” contacted Murff and explained that it might be possible to continue the business relationship if NCRF could provide some further details about the nonprofit’s political activities.

Is Chase Bank purging the accounts of conservatives and Christians?

The New York Post said back in May: "Last week’s shareholder's meeting reminded Almasi of George Orwell’s “1984.” Almasi delivered a copy of the dystopian futuristic novel to a JPMorgan Chase employee to present to Dimon. That was to underline his view that the current “de-banking and de-platforming” of conservatives by American businesses — from JPMorgan to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — is akin to how political adversaries had their identities crushed in Orwell’s book."

Almasi and other critics fear the recent account closures by JPMorgan may be part of a larger purge by the bank, not yet public, of other accounts affiliated with right-leaning causes. And he said Dimon has only muddied the waters, after assuring him the bank is not currently closing accounts for political reasons — but falling short of a flat-out blanket denial.

“I was able to tell him that we have circumstantial evidence that people lost their bank accounts,” Almasi told The Post, recalling how he questioned Dimon at the shareholders meeting, held in Chicago last week when he asked whether Chase had “de-banked conservatives and will not wield its power against conservatives in the future.”

Almasi, representing his group’s Free Enterprise Project, said Dimon assured him the bank has not pulled any more customer accounts. “But he stopped short” of saying it won’t do it in the future.


Brown is asking, “Does Chase ask every customer what politicians they support and why before deciding whether or not to accept them as a customer?” 

Ultimately, NCRF was able to open a new account at a different bank, but not after facing “unexpected operation and financial challenges” following the letter from Chase.

Brownback said after the ordeal, he believes it’s time for Congress to “hold a series of hearings investigating business, particularly big corporations, that exclude people and try to find out why.”

NCRF has also launched its “#ChasedAway” campaign to hear from other faith-based organizations on whether they have had similar experiences.

He says, “I just never expected it would happen to me or this organization.”

I'm wondering if they can "de-bank" Brownback and his NCRF, a multi-faith religious nonprofit, what happens when they start "de-banking" pastors and Christian business people because they disagree with their beliefs

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.