Chase Bank is shutting down accounts of people and organizations with controversial political views, according to an undercover investigation by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.
O’Keefe’s latest probe found that Chase, without explanation, abruptly closed the account of a political activist that had existed for 15 years in good standing.
Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys activist group and owner of a website that sells provocative political merchandise, spoke to Chase representatives who could not explain why his business account was about to be terminated.
Tarrio recorded the calls and provided them to Project Veritas.
Chase banker Marcel Smith told Tarrio: “I see nothing that indicates any reason why the account should be closed. I don’t see any outstanding transactions or anything ridiculous.”
Smith noted that his bank typically gives its customers a reason for account closures.
“I’ve never seen them not give a response to someone whose account they had closed,” the Chase employee said.
But Project Veritas followed up and spoke with an employee working in Chase Corporate Global Media Relations who acknowledged the bank makes political judgments about its customers.
JOURNALIST: I don’t want to do business with anyone who does business with Steve Bannon, or any of these alt right people, and that’s just one of my prerequisites.
CHASE: Right, right. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not connected with Steve Bannon.
JOURNALIST: Do you have standards in place that would preempt such relationship with anyone, um of Steve Bannon’s –
CHASE: Oh definitely. Definitely, definitely.
JOURNALIST: That’s what I’m calling to inquire about. Tell me more.
CHASE: Right so I mean, Chase is not involved with any like, you know, alt right people or anything. I really can’t name names but it’s basically like we don’t get involved with any of that …
JOURNALIST: … I don’t expect for you guys, I’m not talking about who you guys give money to –
CHASE: No, just any business relationships, period.
JOURNALIST: Really? OK. … So I mean on my end I’m talking about people like Trump supporters for instance. The MAGA, whatever – make, whatever the hell they, those types of people, I mean individuals –
CHASE: Right, right. I know what you mean, but like I said the call is being recorded, monitored, so I can’t get too political. And say I don’t support these people, or this, but you know, any kind of business entity, people like that, no moral character or anything like that, the bank usually doesn’t get involved with that.
O’Keefe noted that some of the politically related merchandise Tarrio sells on his 1776.shop website is “quite offensive.”
“Nevertheless, if obscene words on T-shirts cause people to lose their bank accounts, Chase should be honest about it,” he said in a video released by Project Veritas.
Tarrio told Project Veritas he’s observing a pattern.
“First we get silenced on social media, which is a new public square. Then PayPal. And then I get debanked,” he said.
“It’s a very dangerous trend.”