SOUTHFIELD (WWJ/AP) – A Muslim civil rights organization has asked the U.S. Treasury Department to investigate JPMorgan Chase & Co. for closing bank accounts of U.S. Arabs and Muslims.
The Southfield-based Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter sent a letter Wednesday to the Treasury Department’s Office of the Currency. The letter says CAIR and other organizations have received “a series of complaints” about Chase closing accounts.
Another civil rights group sent a letter in March to the Justice Department alleging similar actions by several banks.
CAIR says it’s concerned the accounts are considered risky because of the holders’ religion or ethnicity.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber spoke with the CAIR-MI Executive Director, Dawud Walid.
“Some of them (the bank customers) are non-profit; some of them are for-profit. Some of them are involved in getting wire transactions and getting funds from North Africa and the Middle East; some have done no wire transactions outside the United States of America,” said Walid. “So the one common denominator is religion and or ethnicity.”
Walid said they’re calling for a thorough investigation. “And, specifically, we are wondering if there is any bias behind them closing accounts.”
The Associated Press reached a JP Morgan Chase spokeswoman who said she was unaware of the complaints but would look into them. A message also was left with a Treasury Department spokeswoman.
Walid said the Treasury Department asked for more details and is looking into it.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)