You may recall that McMillan Arms had a parting of the way (to put in mildly) with the Bank of America back in April of 2012. Since then we’ve heard other stories of BofA’s anti-firearms machinations. A midwest gun dealer reported that BofA gave them the old heave-ho in July, after 16 years of no-problem banking. Another tipster told TTAG that the bank was requiring telephone authorization for customers in Florida purchasing firearms at gun stores. And now this from American Spirit Arms‘ Facebook Page. The punctuation is bad but the story is even worse . . .
My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms and I wanted to share my recent experience with Bank of America .(which we have been doing business with for over 10 years)…. Everyone is familiar with the latest increase in guns sales , dealers selling out of inventory , Manufacturers back logged for months , large revenue all generated in the last two weeks …. American Spirit Arms is no exception to the overwhelming demand . What we have experienced is that our web site orders have jumped 500 % causing our web site E commerce processing larger Deposits to BANK OF AMERICA ..Well, this through up a huge RED Flag with Bank of America . So they decided to hold the deposits for further review , meaning that the orders/payments that were coming in through the web ,( being paid by the customer and that were shipped out by American Spirit Arms ),the BANK was keeping (UNDER REVIEW )..as you could imagine this made me furious…
After countless hours on the phone with BANK OF AMERICA I finally got a Manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for FURTHER REVIEW …
HER EXACT WORDS WERE …
..” WE BELIEVE YOU SHOULD NOT BE SELLING GUNS and PARTS ON THE INTERNET “
…I flipped the F**k Out and told them that they have no right to make up their own new rules and regs..that we are a firearms Manufacturer with all the proper licensing FFL (Federal Firearm license ), SOT and that we follow all Federal and All
States’ rules and regulations on shipping Firearms and parts ..and that we are also Audited by ATF and Homeland
Security on a regular basis … She said that she understands that but that the deposits will be released After they have a
Chance to review and clear them …I told her that This was unacceptable and the those deposits (that were a week old by now ) needed to be released ASAP, that we are a small business and rely on the revenue to run and stay operational.
After that being said another Manager got involved and released one of the deposits (to help out )… So far to date after
Two weeks of sales only 1/3 of collected internet sales have been released ..I am still pissed and looking for another
Bank and options …
I just thought the public should know ..
I will keep everyone posted on new developments ..
Joseph P Sirochman
American Spirit Arms
16001 N Greenway Hayden Loop
Scottsdale AZ 85260
How can a bank that pisses off both the right and the left so effectively stay in business?
Watch the bio of JP Morgan and pals, I think it was called the men who built America. Then you will have your answer.
Somebody’s got a Boycott BoA Facebook page started.
Lots of people do. Gun owners aren’t the only ones they’ve pissed off. Oh, and huge bailouts, to answer the op’s question.
Watch this and you’ll understand
I own stock in BOA and would be happy to see my stock devalue to absolutely nothing and take the loss to see these fascists collapse upon their own weight. They are an abomination to business everywhere and need to disappear. I recommend every American remove their money from this company and go to other alternatives.
F off to BOA. First they purchased Countrywide, now they show a definitive trend to discriminate against American gun owners.
Glad I dont bank with them, and now I never will.
Liberalism – ideas so good they have to be mandatory.
The liberals from Occupy hate BoA as much as anyone.
“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” – George Orwell
BofA holding deposits and playing games with their customers’ money is standard procedure, as their checking account customers already know.
Absolutely. BofA is a gang of thieves.
One time had a deposit bigger than $5000. Instead of the “deposit by 8PM, post the same day”, it became “We’ll keep your hard earned dollars under review for another 5 days”. Eff ’em, over to the local credit union. No regrets so far.
That sad part is, I can’t say I find any other banks much better. We’ve been looking too, because really, screw BOA and Wells Fargo.
It’s called “playing the float”. They earn interest on all of the money they hold that is not available to their customers, so if they can sit on every customer’s deposits for even one extra day each it earns them billions.
If you and I did it, it would be called “embezzlement” or “stealing”.
Hey, some institutions are just “too big to regulate” – besides, they are major political contributors.
The first bank that steps up to help will get my business……and they will be glad!
I was with BofA until they started that charge for using your ATM crap. I walked on them and haven’t looked back. With all the bad press they keep getting I’m surprised they’re still in business.
And on a side note, where I live the only bank that has armed security is BofA. Hypocrites.
I have a BofA ATM account that will be closed this week!!! Guess I will go back to getting my paycheck in the mail every Friday!!!
Wow, Friday!? When I got paper checks from my current employer I never saw them until the following Wednesday. Needless to say I used to spend a lot of time in the HR office.
Sue them. You won’t get a quick response but you have a valid case for prejudice.
Didnt BofA get sued for holding charges on accounts to force overdraft fees?
BAC aside, if we start to see legislation moving forward, i can forsee certain banks pulling revolving lines of credit from firearms manufacturers for strictly credit risk reasons.
Interesting thought. Maybe some of the bigger manufacturers could start their own credit unions. Shelby County has one and I have seen hospitals with their own as well. I think Electric Boat in Groton, Ct has a credit union, they may also just contract one.
What about an NRA credit union with the profits going into the fight to defend the second amendment.
Bank of America truly IS “A Bank of America”, a wholy controlled subsidary of the USG. To do business with them is a mistake.
I have my mortgage with a small local bank, credit cards with a credit union, and car loan with another small lender. NONE of whom took a penny from the Chicago gangsters running things these days.
And that’s why I use a local credit union – the members are the shareholders. No hidden agendas and every member has the same vote.
I had a car loan with BOA, financed through a dealership, and paid by direct debit from my checking account with another bank, paying well over the amount of a single payment. I paid it off three years early and got a letter from them acknowledging it had been paid off. Then a month later, they deducted another payment. I called about it and got a very snotty lady on the line who informed me that it was my fault because I didn’t shut off the automatic payment after the loan was paid off! Then she told me I’d have to wait for them to blah, blah, blah, and when it showed there was a payment made against a non-existent account they’d return the money to me — in a few months.
I went to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) web site (http://www.consumerfinance.gov/) and filed a complaint there. Three days later I received a very apologetic phone call from a member of BOA’s “management team” apologizing for their error and saying someone there forgot to flag the account as closed and that was why it processed again, but it had been taken care of. Oh, and my refund check would be going out in the next day’s mail.
It’s amazing how fast they’ll turn loose of illegally-retained funds when the Federal Government starts asking about it. I firmly believe that if I hadn’t done this, I’d still be waiting for my money back.
What they’ve done to Mr. Sirochman is quite illegal (according to my wife, who worked in banking almost 20 years). He needs to do is contact the Arizona State Banking Commission and file a formal complaint against BOA and also file a complaint with the CFPB so they’ll have another record of BOA’s shady practices. And if he can afford it, he should also get a lawyer and sue their asses into oblivion!
they need to read the terms of their agreement on their commercial account and get a good lawyer. Make sure you have the names of everyone involved, and since you are in AZ, be prepared to file suit there. . .
But just remember, they gave big to Zero’s reelection . . . ’nuff said
Thanks for posting. If I had an account with them I would be closing it.
Pathetic…I will no longer bank with BofA
Suing BoA is like suing me for $1. I’ll give you the dollar and tell you to go ef. Unless you sue them for $10 billion they’re not going to feel it.
That’s why punitive damages aren’t always a bad thing.
maybe BB&T would be a place to look at for these companies if smaller, local concerns don’t have the resources. They cut a more libertarian jib, so maybe they won’t sell them down the river.
Ok, I worked at Enron for Five years and at BofA for three years and Enron at it’s absolute most evil could not hold a candle to BofA.
No other business has profit model built on confusing there customers and profiting off their mistakes.
In the interest of discretion, I won’t name the company that I work for.
I will however say that as an Private Security firm with a large number of firearms (Ranging from .45 ACP to .50 BMG), there were two banks who were extremely excited to jump on board with us and have been extremely supportive from day one. The most helpful has been PNC, as we’ve received personal attention from some of their senior executives–so, that’d be my recommendation. (And yes, they’re very aware of what we own and what they’re used for.)
My neighbor is fairly high in BOA IT infrastructure. He doesn’t bank at BoA. That says it all to me.
I will pay off my credit card an close it this month, the will not have my business anymore….period.
To Mr. Sirochman,
Are you a veteran of the United States Armed Forces? If so, might I suggest United Services Automobile Association, or better known as USAA.
USAA is apparently no prize either.
A financial institution does have a right to hold funds for a reasonable amount of time to mitigate against the inherent risk present in credit card processing. A 500% increase in sales is a huge red flag to payment processors because it is questionable that the merchant will be able to fulfill those orders. When orders are not fulfilled, customers might then file chargebacks or create false credit card fraud reports in order to get their money back. If this happens, BOFA will lose money. Also, out-of-the-norm revenue increases can be indicators of other types of fraud including money laundering and account take over which will also lose BOFA money. The right of the bank to hold funds or require a reserve account is no doubt clearly spelled out in their contract. Also, if the bank does not want to do business with a firearms manufacturer they can terminate the relationship if they wish. Manufacturing semi-automatic rifles is a very risky business right now. A government ban on semi-automatic rifles would effectively close Spirit Arms’ doors. Yes, Bank of American sucks but the real reason for their actions is more complicated then what the flustered manager told Sirochman. Also, dude needs to hire a proof reader.
While I understand your point of view, he called regarding the fact that he had shipped the orders already, and you heard their response. There is no reason for that at all.
Also many businesses pass through their orders to manufacturers to process and ship. This is done commonly in the computer business.
Having said that, the manager should have gotten online and gone LINE by LINE. Any order which was fulfilled the money should have been released on the spot. There actions are criminal to say the least!!!
Given that they are an FFL it would be pretty easy to understand the increase in sales.
A customer can still file a chargeback even if the item was shipped. A merchant can ship a piece of poop and provide BOFA with a tracking number to release funds. That does not mean BOFA will not be stuck with a chargeback or fraud claim when the customer receives their box full of poop. BOFA is not doing anything criminal. Payment holds happen all the time. Maybe if Sirochman didn’t “flip the f**k out” the matter could have been resolved more to his favor. Instead he “flips the f**k out” on an underpaid customer service manager who had nothing to do with the decision and expects to convince her with anger to do his will. She probably has to deal with jerks like him all the time. His press release is atrocious as well. I just find it hard to feel sorry for the guy when he clearly has never taken a finance course, let alone one addressing grammar.
That’s not exactly how it works with an established brick and mortar company with a good credit rating. Yes, they might hold money for purchases on ebay from joesbasement123, but the same argument does not stand for a company that has to be as thoroughly vetted in order to do business as this one.
Given the large number of holds I would figure BOA would have contacted them. Also I am assuming that his account was in good standing for a number of years, so as far as being some fly by night type thing that risk is lower.
Also holding funds for over three weeks, that seems a bit out of the norm. I would figure 5 to 7 days max.
Of course their response I think is what made him flip out….
Quit supporting the big mega monster banks! Wake up, Joe. This has nothing to do with the rise in incoming payments, it was harassment for selling firearms. Same thing happened to my employer in 2008, their shipments didn’t rise dramatically. BOA is anti-gun, and so is anyone that supports them.
My first bank was BoA. Until they started charging everything I did from debit cards to checks. Now I’m with a local credit union and actually have conversations with the tellers.
Sad to say it but if they are still banking with BoA (or Citibank for that matter) they deserve what they get.
I used to manage a bunch of ppl who were placed as consultants to BoA and I can tell you some stories.
get your money and business the hell out of bank of america, jp morgan, citigroup, and wells fargo.
ive gone to a credit union four years ago. its a decision i have never regretted.
Wells Fargo lets me open carry inside!
Still not enough reason to support one of the big mega monster banks. If you support gun rights you cannot support big banks as most have boards and owners that are anti-gun. All of them in fact, the big 4 which are BOA, Chase, Citi and Wells, all support most anti-gun legislation by giving money to politicians who support it. Other banks like HSBC also support gun control.
Get your money out of these institutions and into local credit unions, most of which, including mine which gives away a firearm every month, supports gun rights.
Why do we need these banks? Credit Unions are better for the people and their communities, the banks are just leeches draining the economy and pushing out local service providers that are better suited to serve the needs of their communities.
Hey, RF: Ironic that this story is just above the one about BassPro’s empty shelves. Guess what financial institution BassPro uses for their Visa Rewards program . . . yep. Perhaps if you featured this fact prominently on your site, and enough BassPro customers cancelled their cards and called BP customer service to tell them their business would go to Cabelas until BP goes with another vendor, BoA might lose a large account.
WE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE WITH BOA 5 YEARS AGO.
First off, I have long since moved my finances to a local credit union as did by employer.
I will not say what firearm manufacture I worked for but they are a very small outfit in the midwest region that manufactures specialized AR type rifles, suppressors, lowers ect. They began to have problems with BOA “holding” incoming payments back in 08. They were noticing holds of up to 5 days on the majority of payments. The owner fought back and forth with BOA all that year and in the end, even though BOA stopped the practice, the owner switched financial institutions. So this is not new or related to the newest anti-gun craze, BOA has been anti-gun from most of it’s existence and I imagine there are many more of these stories out there from other firearms businesses that just haven’t been heard. Appreciate the info from American Spirit Arms and Robert for posting it here. These truths need to be told so we can focus our fight on the right people and entities.
BofA has never cared about small fry, no matter what their advertising says. As soon as the Recession hit, they closed up pretty much every line of credit available to smqall business, killed the California real esate market, froze all equity lines of credit, and were generally unwilling to loan money for any reason at all. The moment big banks were allowed to merge with investment banks, profit at the cost of service became the byline. Despite the interest rate being at historic lows, how many of us have seen credit card rates at over 16 % and up? The banks charge merchants for taking credit cards, usually about 3 to 3.5%, thye charge you interest, and then they placate the blind by offering “awards” programs that do nothing but give you your own money back. Whatever happened to frill free credit cars with low interest rates and no awards frills or bonuses? I can’t find them any more, which tells you that the banks are making bank on the ones used now. And they are all predatory.
I ditched BofA last year. I recommend every firearm owner boycott them. They suck anyway…
There is no benefit to ever engaging in regular banking transactions with a huge bank like BofA, Chase, etc. They are so big that whatever business you bring to them, unless it’s in the hundreds of millions of dollars (and possibly not even that,) they simply won’t care. And unless you can get an attorney to take your case on contingency, they’ll simply outlast you in any lawsuit.
It’s a little more difficult to get around with credit card transactions, of course, since there are only so many merchant banks to go around, but I’d still avoid the huge banks like these.
On the other hand, I kind of wonder how American Express Centurion Bank is to do business with (from a merchant-bank perspective)? I know that the fees are higher, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
American Spirit Arms is a good company full of good people, have talked with them and bought stuff from them. BOA is overstepping its bounds, if a bank purposely causes financial hardship on a legitimate and legal business, it should be made to repay that company.
I swore off BofA many many years ago, for repeatedly holding parole checks and causing me to bounce checks (and then charging me for it). The last straw was waking up on morning to find I had bounced a check to my moving company (who was holding my stuff) because BofA had decided a clerical error merited swiping $3500 out of my account without so much as a phone call.
I recommend everyone use a local credit union for all their banking needs.
BOA sucks? This is news? Didnt Obama bail them out too?
He should go with USAA if he qualifies for membership. They’re awesome.
You should consider a local credit union or USAA. On the USAA side, you will be able to scan in and post check deposits immediately.
I have left BofA a long long time ago. Looking back I wonder why I did not leave earlier.
1. Refusal to help me built credit (I was new in the country, coming from France). “Go get a Target card, that’ll get you started”. Eventually I got a secured credit card from them and that got me started.
2. Overdraft fees up the whazoo after non-working American wife kept on using the debit card when I told her “there is no money in the bank, stop spending”. I asked BofA to deny all transactions when there was no money in the bank. They refused, even though I told them it was illegal. I just got a $50 settlement check, representing about 10% of what they collected.
3. Refused to finance ANYTHING. I had to finance 3 cars and 2 mortgages with other banks. This kind of insanity is never heard of in Europe. Actually, from what I have heard, banks are starting to act like that over there as well.
4. Very disrespectful staff both in branches and on the phone. Even Wells and Chase have treated me much much better, even though they are one of the big remaining banks.
5. We cashed a big check. We went spending. Our debit card was declined. Left the store in shame. Went to the bank, logically upset, explained what happened. Told the big check was cashed on somebody else’s account. More upset, must not disrespectful. I was “punished” and asked to sit in a corner for 10 minutes before the manager came over and told me I was made to sit there because I was upset and I needed to learn to respect the cashiers. NOT ONE WORD OF APOLOGY FOR THEIR MISTAKE.
#5 was the last straw.
Do not do business with BofA. They are simply the worst bank ever.
OK, folks. I’m ready to take my business’ business from B of A (after many, many years). BUT… transitioning to a new bank will be a PITA. I’m willing to do it. HOWEVER, I don’t want to go through all that and end up at ANOTHER constitutionally-unfriendly bank.
So, my question is: Have we found a bank that is OVERTLY Constitution-friendly? Any recommendations?
Bank of America? Something wrong with that name, why don’t they man up and name it appropriately. Bank of Mexic0/USSR!!!! Don’t ever give up your guns to these commies, and those of you told to take our guns? Follow the constitution, not some tyrant named Benghazi Bo!!!
Bank of A just rec’d big earmark cash via the latest bills for the hurricane and debt ceiling. How much you wanna bet their were stipulations (backdoor of course) that they do things like this?? I want to tell you all that I am CERTAIN about what happened in Benghazi. Very simple, very evil. Hitlery and the Commie-in-Chief know well in advance, that an attack was immitent in Benghazi. Instead of bolstering security, then do the opposite. It was their plan to allow this attack. Just like taking our guns, they have the bulls-eye on FREEDON OF SPEECH. Letting this attack happen, allowed them to blame this video they had heard about. Blaming this video is exactly what they did in the name of FREE SPEECH demanding Google to TAKE THAT VIDEO DOWN!! The lives and deaths of AMERICANS are inconsequential in the sick and twisted plans of these elitist PROGRESSIVES. Remember, the end justifies the means and any crisis must not go to waste!! And if there is no crisis?? Create one!!!
I’m a VP at Bank of America (BOFA) and have had first hand experience with how they treat their customers. I’ve been in banking for about 20 years now and have worked for some of the larger banks and currently work for BOFA. Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo and just about every major financial institution is guilty of being anti gun. They don’t lend to FFL dealers and they don’t lend to churches. Both reasons are the same, it would be a PR nightmare if the bank had to foreclose on a church or if one of their customers was reported in the news for selling a firearm to someone who caused mass murder. This is the same reason why the private equity firm Cerberus is putting Bushmaster (Freedom Group) on sale. After the Sandy Hook school shootings everybody is doing everything that they can to stay out of the spotlight. The bank is like any other business. They are doing their best to keep their stock holders happy and they are trying to make a profit. The bank is a for profit entity that needs to make money. It can’t make money if their customers feel like they are contributing to the delinquency of the nation.
Don’t forget about the 99% folks that barged their way into financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase to hold rallies. The nation is full of liberal minded uneducated folks who have a bandwagon mentality. The one thing that I have learned in banking and life is that there are stupid people out there. These uninformed individuals live their lives through emotions. Why do you think our recent election ended up the way that it did. It was because voters voted with their emotions instead of their mind. We have both conservative and liberal folks who work in our financial institution. There is nothing wrong with that. But the problem lies in the fact that liberals scream louder than conservatives. We have allowed liberal ideas to shape our public policy. If we cut our fingers we feel like the government has to jump in and pay for our hospital bills. The mistake here is that the general public has been lied to and they have bought into the liberal mind set. They forget that the 2010 CDC results show that more people died from accidental drowning (3,696) than by accidental discharge of a firearm (600). They fail to talk about the 35,080 people who died due to motor vehicle accidents. I’m sure a lot of those accidents was due to someone under the influence. I lost my dad and sister to someone driving under the influence. I have never lost a family member due to gun related incidents. More people died from accidental poisoning (30,781) in 2010 than they did from suicide by discharging a firearm (19,308).
Most of you on this board recognize that guns are not the problem. The problem is that most banks go along with the emotions that drive the public. To get back on topic. The reason’s why banks will freeze a business owners accounts or close their accounts is not due to internal bank policy. It really stems from current US Government laws and regulations. Because of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the Anti Money Laundering (AML) policies that have been put in place financial institutions have been forced to comply with government laws and regulations or face being fined hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. In 2012 American Express was fined $65 Million dollars and HSBC was fined $1.92 Billion dollars for failing to comply with AML guidelines. Those are just two cases out of the hundreds of cases that resulted in fines and penalties in 2012. Banks have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in BSA/AML fines. Just do a quick Google/Bing search about AML payouts and you will see thousands of pages of banks running scared. Many of these payouts were to settle lawsuits by the US Government that was caused by vague language in laws. The laws were established to fight terrorism and crime, all they have really done is created a way for the government to penalize good, hard working individuals. These laws have forced banks to change how they see their small business customers.
If you want to get angry and blame someone, please don’t blame the banks. The banks are doing what they perceive to be the right thing to do. It is easier for a bank to close out a good customer’s account who has done business with them for 15 years and has kept a healthy balance of $50,000 or more than it is for the bank to pay a fine in the millions for failure to comply with BSA/AML guidelines. In the end the small business owner and the little guys lose out. I have fought until I was blue in the face to save customer accounts. I have done things that have jeopardized my career because I fought to maintain accounts for good bank customers. In the end we lost good customers. The BSA/AML guidelines affect everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are a church, a gun manufacturer, a jewelry store owner, or a restaurant. If you do something that causes a red flag to go up your bank account will be closed. Just like the foreclosure fiasco, it is easier to close your account than to explain to the government why that account should stay open. It is easier to foreclose on you without looking at your case because it is cheaper to pay the penalties at a later date.
I recently had a customer’s account that was closed because he caused a red flag to go off. Both his business accounts and personal accounts were closed. His wife’s accounts and the accounts of his two teenage children were closed. Why close out an account belonging to a 12 year old? The account only had $2,000 in it and wasn’t a risk to the nations security or to the bank. We ended up losing 9 personal checking accounts and 4 business accounts. We lost their commercial loan and their mortgage loans. We lost about $200,000 in deposits and tarnished our reputation with the surrounding business owners because this customer’s account raised a red flag. These were my customers and I see each and every one of them as friends and family. I’m still pissed that Bank of America did the easy thing and closed their accounts. They treated them as a virus and not as productive business owners. They didn’t treat them as people. I have seen this time and time again throughout my career in banking. I have seen this happen at all of the banks that I work at. Even with these results I am still committed to fighting for each and every good customer that is in my portfolio. I primarily work with business customers and I know that Bank of America is a good bank. Misguided sometimes, definitely; but they are doing what they can to make everybody happy. If that means upsetting some of their customers to avoid having to pay millions of dollars in fines and penalties then so be it.
Please, do not close out any of your banking relationships with any of your banks. Don’t walk away from Bank of America, Chase, Citibank or Wells Fargo. All I ask is that you find someone who is smart and educated at your bank and talk to them about how to avoid raising red flags. 98% of bank employees don’t know up from down, so you will have to be vigilant about any advice that is given to you. The best thing to do is to read through some of the Google/Bing results about AML policies published by all the major banks. Citibank has some great pieces that are available for download online.
God Bless All of you for your vigilance and for being Great Americans.
I needed to read the article two times to make certain I comprehended everything you were stating. I know … silly me. I entirely agree however. Many people won’t even pay this much attention due to the fact that they have their own agendas.