Customers and employees accuse of discrimination at US Bank | Business
KSTP investigative reporter Eric Rasmussen last month reported on another black US Bank client, Peter Wogbah, who was having trouble withdrawing money from his US Bank account.
The Edina businessman asked the tellers for a cashier’s check for $30,000 from his business account.
Wogbah told Rasmussen that he gave his ID card to a cashier and told him “I’m here to withdraw money”.
The cashier looked at the ID, checked his account in the computer, and asked him how much he was trying to withdraw. He said the cashier asked, “How much are you trying to withdraw?”
Wogbah said the cashier at the Bloomington branch told him the cash was “not available.” But when he called US Bank’s 1-800 number, he confirmed the funds were available.
Wogbah said bank employees eventually told him to go to another branch to get the cashier’s check.
As in a previous case, bank employees called the police, who arrested Wogbah in his car as he drove out of the bank parking lot. He said he didn’t know the police were looking for him until an officer banged on the side of his SUV as he was about to leave the parking lot of the US Bank branch.
“We regret the frustration this has caused the customer,” Cheryl Leamon, senior vice president at US Bank, said in a statement.
KSTP obtained body camera video of the incident which shows officers questioning Wogbah in that parking lot for approximately seven minutes before releasing him and reporting that “no crime” had occurred.
Wogbah said a white person would not have been treated that way.
He said someone from US Bank called to apologize a few days after 5 INVESTIGATES contacted the company.
A bank spokesman said the bank’s internal review of the situation had revealed an “inconsistency” in its wire transfer disbursement process and had provided clarification to all employees at its branches.
Wogbah says he is still considering legal action and is looking for a new bank to handle his affairs.
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong,” he told Rasmussen.
Tellers told police Wogbah yelled at staff – an allegation Wogbah denies. US Bank did not respond to requests for release of an internal branch video that would show what happened before tellers called police. Body camera video of Wogbah’s interaction with police shows officers reporting he was “cooperative”, Rasmussen reported.
“I don’t know what the confusion was, but it didn’t go well apparently,” an officer said after spending less than a minute inside the bank.
Bank statements confirm that the money Wogbah wanted to withdraw was available that day.
After police let him go, another branch of the US bank issued him a cashier’s check less than 15 minutes later, the report said.
“Whatever treatment I was getting, I didn’t deserve it,” Wogbah said. “I mean, it’s not like I’m trying to steal. It’s money that I put in the account.
Rasmussen said: “Wogbah’s allegations of racial profiling are among the latest to fall under the national phenomenon widely known as ‘Banking while Black’.”
Black customers across the country say they’ve been charged with fraud or called in by police for making simple transactions, including a recent case involving a Hollywood director, Rasmussen wrote.
Late last year, US Bank publicly apologized after KSTP News obtained video of a black customer being handcuffed and falsely accused of fraud for trying to cash his paycheck.
Millions of people watched the video of Joe Morrow being questioned by police and a bank manager at a US Bank branch in Columbia Heights.
Despite US Bank CEO Andy Cecere’s promise to expand employee training after he ‘recognized the need to be culturally sensitive’, the Minneapolis-based firm is now facing additional allegations of discrimination from Wogbah and some of its own employees.
Rasmussen said Cecere has repeatedly declined interview requests over the past three months, but in an emailed statement last month, said the bank was launching a newly formed advisory committee of black city leaders. twins and “expanded conflict resolution training for all branches and 24-hour bank employees.
Rasmussen reported that US Bank is facing new complaints and lawsuits from black employees who describe a culture of racial discrimination within the company.
Shirley Hunt, a Lakeville manager, sued the company in February, alleging it provided inadequate diversity and awareness training.
“The U.S. Bank pretends to respect the concept of diversity, but when it comes time to offer black employees the same benefits enjoyed by white employees, there is no follow-through for black employees,” the lawsuit states. .
Rasmussen reported that John Span is also suing US Bank for racial discrimination and retaliation after working at the company for 24 years. Span started as a teller for US Bank in Illinois in 1996 and worked his way up to become an auto loan underwriter before being fired in July 2020.
Span says he was fired after reporting concerns about a new manager in the company’s human relations department.
Span says recent allegations made by black customers come as no surprise to him. In his lawsuit, he said the company continued to put red lines on black customers, freezing them from car loans because of where they live.