SunTrust Bank to Close Muslim Woman’s Account, Effective SEPTEMBER 11th – Coincidence?
SPRING HILL – SunTrust Bank is back in the news, but this time it’s not for closing the accounts of gun dealers and pawn shops. A legal immigrant from Turkey, who happens to be a Muslim, says her account was closed for reasons that may be directly related to her faith.
SunTrust Bank made national headlines earlier this year, after they closed the accounts of several gun dealers and pawn shops across the country. Steve Champion, owner of American Gun and Pawn in Brooksville, fell victim to SunTrust’s closing spree, that some believe was part of the current administrations gun control campaign called “Operation Choke Point.”
On June 24th, newly-weds Dan Henry and Hilal Kose opened a joint account at the SunTrust Bank, located at 10810 County Line Road in Hudson. During the opening processes, bank employees requested several documents from Kose, due to post-September 11th 2001 Homeland Security protocol. Kose says she complied with the request and completely understood the importance and necessity of providing those documents.
Kose immigrated to the United States in 2013, after earning her law degree in her native country of Turkey. Kose currently resides in the U.S. under a student visa and is working towards earning her doctorate and becoming citizen of the United States.
A few weeks after the couple opened their SunTrust account, Assistant Vice President Victoria Groeger sent an urgent email to the couple, requesting the same documents that had already been provided. A perplexed Henry immediately replied to the email and within 24 hours resubmitted the necessary documents. In his reply, Henry voiced his dissatisfaction with Groeger and other SunTrust employees, which led to a series of snarky emails between the two.
On July 17th Groeger writes “You seem very unhappy with SunTrust would you like me to close your account?” Bewildered by the seemingly arrogant reply, Henry writes, “So is this your solution – This is how you respond to me – You can’t take responsibility for your actions so you just ask if I want to close my account?”
Adding to growing suspicion that SunTrust was “looking for a way out,” Henry says he never received his debit card, even after numerous inquiries regarding its status.
On August 12th, less than two months after the couple opened their account, SunTrust sent a certified letter informing them that their account would close 30 days from the issuance of the letter – which just happens to fall on September 11th 2015. Kose and Henry feel the posted date was not a coincidence, rather SunTrust’s way of saying they did not want to do business with immigrants of Muslim decent.
Kose says in retrospect the whole experience now makes sense, because every time she conducted business inside the Hudson branch, tellers would make fun of her Turkish accent.
We contacted SunTrust’s Atlanta headquarters for comment but we have not received a reply. When or if they do, we will update this report with their response.
Henry and Kose are now searching for another bank to handle their financial affairs.
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