Bonum Certa Men Certa

U.S. Banks, Including Chase and Synchrony, File Suspicious Activity Reports and Shut Down Accounts for ‘Logging in From Another Country’ and Transferring Retirement Funds; May Also Affect VPN Users

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

U.S. Banks, Including Chase and Synchrony, File Suspicious Activity Reports and Shut Down Accounts for ‘Logging in From Another Country’ and Transferring Retirement Funds; May Also Affect VPN Users

American banks are closing customer accounts without warning and many are refusing to say why.

The ones named, according to the article, are Chase and Synchrony Bank.

(Two of the worst banks in the country to bank with, I might add. Chase was ripping my ex blind with $11 monthly “checking account fees” until I switched him to an online bank with no fees and put an end to that.)

Synchrony is an underlying bank for “PayPal Savings” and “PayPal Checking.

Synchrony also runs some store cards. They have a possibly illegal practice (under Illinois BIPA) of collecting biometric data to open an Amazon Card.

If you use a VPN, you may want to use “split tunneling” for a Web browser session to do your online banking.

In at least one instance, according to the article, Chase Bank violated the Bank Secrecy Act, first by telling a man who had his accounts frozen in the middle of dinner and was left unable to pay the bill as a result, that it had filed a SAR (which is illegal….you cannot tell a customer you did that), and then violated the BSA again by telling him why (he had logged on to their online banking system from a foreign country while he was on vacation).

There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in the US banking industry right now, including an explosion of SARs. Ironically, the article says the explosion of SARs came “after the pandemic”, which was a pandemic of a SARS virus. 🙂

In all seriousness, the banks are reporting anything that looks even kind of dodgy, apparently, because there’s no penalty to the bank to close accounts and file them, even though only 4% are possibly criminal activity, according to the New York Times article.

MinceR on #TechRights IRC channel raised a very good point.

Isn’t losing clients a penalty?

Chase Bank has $4 trillion in assets. With that much and with the “Systemically Important Bank” regulators breathing down their necks, it’s not so serious if they start cutting some “risky” clients loose even if they’re not actually all that risky.

Smaller banks that need the deposits more (like $100-200 billion in assets) and don’t have the intense SIB regulations are probably more likely to look the other way on some of this, but I don’t know that.

Besides, there are risks at banking with one where less eyes are on them, like all those California Tesla “loaners” who came to bang on the window of the failed SVB thinking you can go to a failed bank and walk out with a briefcase and a million dollars cash. They found this out.

Big banks treat you like shit, because they’re huge and they don’t need your weekly paycheck from cleaning the hospital that much, and small banks, well…. Who even knows what’s going on in there?

You takes your chances… As the saying goes.

The man who banked at Synchrony (super sketchy bank) had another problem.

He dumped out his 401(k) into Synchrony and then tried to open another IRA at TD, which is not suspicious or illegal….people close retirement accounts and transfer the money into a new one all the time….the IRS even says you HAVE TO within the same tax year to avoid penalties!

When he went to open the new IRA at TD and fund it, again, perfectly legal, people do it every day, Synchrony froze his account, took his money, wouldn’t tell him why, and said “We’ll get back to you within 60 days.”

Uh huh….

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