Questions Raised About Banking Discrimination

by TChris

Federal law prohibits businesses from discriminating against patrons because of their national origins. Some customers of AmSouth Bank wonder if the bank is disobeying that law.

AmSouth sent Imad Aleithawe a letter closing his account, but won't explain why.

Aleithawe, a civil engineer with the Mississippi state transportation department, says that without answers he is left with only the lingering suspicion that it has something to do with his Middle Eastern heritage. At least three other Mississippi residents with Middle Eastern backgrounds -- including a university instructor and business owners -- have also had their accounts closed. Those affected say others with Middle Eastern ties have complained to them about closed accounts, but were unwilling to go public.

AmSouth claims it has "appropriate reasons" for its actions. If so, why won't it reveal those reasons to Aleithawe?

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