In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, the chairman of National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF), Sam Brownback, announced that JPMorgan Chase had deplatformed the organization without providing a reason. The bank said it would consider reopening the account if NCRF provided a list of donors and preferred political candidates.
Brownback said that NCRF opened an account with JPMorgan Chase “because of its national footprint and the multigenerational banking relationships our team had with the bank.” He added that the experience with the bank was “initially very positive,” but the bank closed the account after only three weeks.
Brownback said that NCRF “received a letter notifying us that Chase had decided to ‘end their relationship,’” and the account was closed before the receipt of the letter.
“To this day, the NCRF does not have a clear reason as to why our account was closed after only three weeks,” he said. “We certainly hadn’t made any transactions in that short amount of time that would have triggered any regulatory red flags.”
“We were surprised at being canceled by Chase,” he wrote. “When our executive director called to see if this was an error, he was informed that ‘a note in the file read that Chase employees were not permitted to provide any further clarifying information to the customer.’”
NCRF spoke with several employees at Chase and was told that the decision was made by the corporate office and it was final and could not be reversed.
Brownback said he was “shocked and surprised: that the bank said that it would reopen the account if a list of donors and preferred political candidates was provided. He described the suggestion as “entirely inappropriate” and asked if the bank asks “every customer what politicians they support and why before deciding whether or not to accept them as a customer?”
“Religious institutions, houses of worship, and people of all faiths should be greatly concerned that their business, credit, or even personal or private bank accounts could likewise be terminated for any or no reason at all,” Brownback said.
JPMorgan Chase recently ended its relationship with rapper Kanye West without a clear explanation. The move came after the rapper posted a tweet saying he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” and also after West publicly criticized executives at the bank on Instagram.