Tripe & What Not

Citibank arrests customers for trying to close accounts

Citibank arrests customers for trying to close accounts
October 16th, 2011
Author: Richard Henley Davis

Customers of Citibank were arrested yesterday after trying to close down their bank accounts.

23 customers of Citibank allegedly found themselves under arrest after being locked in the bank at 555 La Guardia Place, New York by security guards who even forced legitimate Citibank customers going about their daily business back into the bank.

Citibank responded to the allegations of arresting customer by releasing this statement:

“A large amount of protesters entered our branch at 555 La Guardia Place around 2:00 PM today. They were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911. The Police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed. Only one person asked to close an account and was accommodated.”

Video below shows quite clearly that those inside the La Guardia Place branch of Citibank were not disruptive and remained quite calm and peaceful and also there are reports from eyewitnesses stating the explanation given by Citibank is far from the truth.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has seen a resurgence of Eric Cantona’s call for people to withdraw their money from the banks and one site moveyourmoneyproject.org is attempting to assist this move.

This notion of removing money from the banks in order to bring them down is a genuine threat to the banking industry and we can expect more arrests by banks who are using the police force as their private security to prevent a collapse in their interests through mass deposit withdrawal.

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38 Responses to “Citibank arrests customers for trying to close accounts”

  1. anonymous says:

    Why is this the only report of this incident on any news site? Why is this not on CNN or Fox? Why are there no comments about this and why when you go to Citibank’s website and view their official response, are there no comments there? Feels like North Korean censorship.

  2. Root Striker says:

    The banks control the money they therefore control everything. Banks do not exist to help you, society or businesses, they exist purely to cream off as much as they can.

    Everything they do from insurance to investments, plain banking to mortgages is designed purely to fleece you.

    They will fight using every legal and non-legal means at their disposal to continue the scam for as long as possible.

    And there are many ‘news’ organisations that rely on banks and their continued existence to continue operating themselves.

  3. Ed D says:

    What’s strange here is the strategy and outcome. If a group really thinks closing their accounts will have an effect than simply go close it. To send in a couple dozen people at one time is more for show than anything else. They would have actually been able to close their account(s) if they didn’t all enter the bank at once. Any bank will go on lockdown when a large group fills up the bank like that.

  4. Chris says:

    @Ed,
    i think you’re missing the larger strategy here. if they didn’t all enter the bank at once, and therefor garner this reaction, which was then filmed and spread all over the internet, we wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is the whole point when you’re trying to grow awareness and a larger movement. this is Community Organizing 101. if more of us read this and close our own accounts also, the effect is exponentially larger.

  5. D l says:

    I agree with Ed. All this is just for entertainment.

  6. E H says:

    I have never had a bank go on lockdown even when I have joined a 20 minute queue. Seems like a bank in NY should be able to handle it if my banks in VA and NC can.

  7. Dillard Stone says:

    The protesters were absolutely NOT “arrested for trying to close accounts.” They stood around inside Citbank making impassioned speeches against the company and cheering each other on. Employees asked them to leave but they refused to do so. All of this is documented on video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2vtXJ0k7AA

  8. Mike Thompson says:

    This is clearly a staged incident. Only one person ended up closing their account. All of the rest were allowed to but none had accounts

  9. scallywag says:

    SPerhaps arresting these people has more to do with preserving the banks autonomy and very survival rather than the very interesting idea that all the security guards and cops were trying to do was put a sudden frenzy session of customers/vigilantes into quarantine mode. Who really needs to be quarantined are the banks, but that’s just the humble opinion of an individual with hardly a dime to his name.

    Such are the affairs of modern day America bristling with self hate and apathy towards the haves and the have nots on a sullen Saturday afternoon.

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/10/citibank-would-like-to-blame-the-nypd-for-having-23-of-their-customers-arrested-for-trying-to-close-their-accounts/

  10. chris says:

    “They would have actually been able to close their account(s) if they didn’t all enter the bank at once. Any bank will go on lockdown when a large group fills up the bank like that.”that doesn’t make any sense at all . Have you ever been in a large urban bank and seen how busy it gets during peek hours . 23 people is nothing if it’s during afternoon lunch hour (2pm) .there’s going to be a large number of people there to do their banking while on lunch break ! only factors of importance is that they wanted to close their accounts and they where arrested for this . so in other words are you to suggest that the door of this bank could allow 23 people to enter all at once or are you saying somehow an unrelated group posed some other threat (other than wishing to close accounts) that actually warranted a lock down and arrest of people there lawfully attempting to close their own accounts . srsly , think about it .

  11. Kevin says:

    “Customers of Citibank were arrested yesterday after trying [to] close down their bank accounts.” Fix please.

  12. chris says:

    Also at Ed D , i gotta ask ? did you watch the video ? it’s of a busy urban banks with dozens of people in it (and one outside that they grabbed and put in )It seems to me that the bank only closed them in and arrested them after they figured out they where all there to close their accounts as part of the wall st protest . something that the protestors/paying banks costumers are in the right to do on every level so to defend the banks position at this point is just down right pathetic .

  13. Thanks Kevin………one always gets through…….

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  15. Mark says:

    As someone else recently posted, they weren’t exactly the peaceful protesters we’ve been told about. No matter how correct or incorrect the message may be, you have to leave when asked.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2vtXJ0k7AA

  16. DaisyinNY says:

    Some have asked to see this posted on a reputable Website. The New York Observer is reporting it.

  17. Smarter says:

    Isn’t it interesting that a comment such as by “anonymous”, which points out censorship like in North Korea, is happening in the U.S.? Not that the U.S. is North Korea, but the analogy demonstrates how fast one swallows the home grown propaganda about another country without really knowing if it’s true or not, all the while never realizing that we should have been watching our own country for the same defects. Just like Senator Joe McCarthy, the insane drunk that he was, had everyone watching for communists under the beds. Back then, it took a long time to realize he was an insane paranoid drunk lush, not someone to be believed.

  18. D Taylor says:

    If you look up the BofA customers video, 2 people walked in, quietly say down and were immediately told to leave. The bank manager said they could be customers if there were also protesters.

  19. B says:

    You should be shouting: THIS IS WRONG!!

  20. Bev says:

    If you guys go into these places don’t go in as a horde. Go in a few at a time and close your accounts and don’t stop at citibank. Do it to all of them. Put them in their place!

  21. rocky says:

    change the title or people will know this website is dishonest.
    CITIBANK ARRESTS LOITERERS FOR STAMPEDING INTO A BANK

  22. Root Striker says:

    Funny how the police ‘help’ someone into the bank so they can be arrested isn’t it rocky.

  23. Hi Rocky,

    “Only one person asked to close an account”……….even by Citibank’s admission someone asked for their account to be closed…that person would have been inside the bank and as the video shows, persons were arrested for being inside the bank. The lady in question provided evidence that she had an account at the bank and was whisked away…..hence the accurate headline.

    There is a genuine fear amongst the banks that a full scale withdrawal of assets will lead to a bank run…this is why there is a campaign for mass transfer of funds on November the 5th for ‘Bank Transfer Day’.

  24. Patrick A says:

    The story is still trickling out and while I wouldn’t put it past a Citibank employee to try to arrest some protestors on principle, there’s a massive amount of naivete involved in thinking that almost anyone in the 99% removing their money from Citibank/BoA/etc. would have a noticeable effect on their bottom line. The giant banks have been trying to get rid of smaller customers for years because maintaining those tiny accounts, sending statements, dealing with deposits all costs them more money than they make from keeping them. You’ve got a few hundred K in the bank? Citibank might express some concern. Maybe. Given how little savings most people who care about the protest have however (sort of the problem, no?) Citibank could care less about them going elsewhere.

  25. rocky says:

    if there was only one customer , then citibank didn’t arrest “customers”. a partial lie is a complete lie, especially for a “news” website. and where do you see any mention of that customer being arrested?

    as for the girl outside that was obviously cooperating with the people inside : it is not unusual for police to hold accomplices or witnesses for questioning, with or without arresting them. if bank robbers were trapped inside a bank and some girl was tapping on the glass trying to communicate and work with them, you have better believe the police would like to speak with her.

    stop playing dumb in order to attract dumb people to your dumb cause.

  26. Jeff Taylor says:

    Banks must be losing their touch. Going back a few years those demonstrators wouldn’t have been allowed out until they’d got a current account, mortgage and full life insurance with them.

  27. Jeff Taylor says:

    Oh rocky, what damage was done to the bank? Was there a robbery or something? Normal practice would have been just to escort the demonstrators off of the premises wouldn’t it? Why make the situation worse? Seems very strange to me.

  28. rocky says:

    trespassing does not necessitate damage. fact: those people who are not customers are trespassing. the protesters were asked to leave but refused. it would have been silly not to arrest them because that would send the message that trespassers in a bank are immune to arrest .

    arresting these people does not make the situation worse except for the people being arrested, and of course the protesters will make a big stink about it since they are willing to overlook the inconvenient truth that the bank did nothing wrong.

  29. Firstly your just going on the word of a bank which has claimed that has held the American people to the promise of $306 billion that there was only one person who closed their accounts or do you believe eyewitnesses?…….of which I was contacted by one which is the reason behind this article.

    Citibank saying that there was only one person who withdrew money does not mean that there was only one person who withdrew money……to blindly accept such a statement is naive and to underestimate the damage that mass withdrawals of fund can do to a bank is is also naive seeing as banks across America are ejecting large groups withdrawing money……do a little research first.

    In the footage I saw a lot of people in an orderly line some of whom were almost certainly there to access their accounts…or do you think everyone in the bank was a protester?

    The woman arrested was an account holder who produced documentation to prove so and was promptly arrested.

    “as for the girl outside that was obviously cooperating with the people inside”……really?…..please expand on that statement….additional footage has shown that the woman was NOT involved.

    “it is not unusual for police to hold accomplices or witnesses for questioning, with or without arresting them. if bank robbers were trapped inside a bank and some girl was tapping on the glass trying to communicate and work with them, you have better believe the police would like to speak with her.”……..there was no bank robbery and such a scenario is not comparable….in fact it is quite ludicrous.

    Was she asked to cooperate with the police? no she was grabbed and thrown in the building.

    I think you are insinuating that the headline is designed to ensnare dumb people to react and comment with a headline based on no fact just the testimony of eyewitnesses then I am sorry but you are wrong and there is definitely someone who is beginning to look rather dumb here because the media uses eyewitnesses to collaborate evidence all the time and is at times regarded as empirical unfortunately based on their station.

    Yes there may have been protesters in the bank….no one is saying there wasn’t but I refer you to the comment left by Chris.

    Thank you Rocky…I have enjoyed locking horns with you and bid you good day.

  30. J says:

    you know what this says ,,,,,they have no real capitol reserves , THATS SERIOUS !!! when a dozen or so people close out 401k’s with a bank and they can trip the reserve limit , that says the bank is in functional default

  31. Jennifer says:

    @Richard, thank you for clarifying and supporting your report. So many people want to dismiss this movement as “just another handful of unruly people trying to make the news”and that is truly disturbing. We have kept our heads in the sand for too long. I am definitely in the 99% but even my friends/aquaintences in the 1% feel there is a real need for changes to take place in order for our country to recover.

  32. Cora Heeg says:

    @Patrick A: It isn’t just the 99% who will be closing their accounts. I read that a Catholic Diocese closed their account at a big bank recently because of the fraudulent actions of that bank. And you know that’s not chump change! (And Puleeeeeez don’t bring up priests and sex scandals; stick to the financial crisis, otherwise you are just blowing a smoke screen.)

  33. […] Richard Henley Davis, The Economic Times; Monday, October 17, 2011 – Common […]

  34. Patrick A says:

    @Cora: To your point, the small churches make a difference, but it’s still a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about a bank that large and diverse. (And it’s highly unlikely that any large diocese will divest; they’re as much businesses as any other large organization and they’re unlikely to want to deal with the overhead of such a change, if they care about the issue at all.)

    Second, you’re the only one who mentioned sex scandals. I’m not sure what that has to do with this discussion.

  35. Davey says:

    Yes, the video and headline are misleading. Protesters apparently occupied the lobby while they gave workers and staff a respectful, thoughtful piece of their minds.

    But while you criticize students for asking for loan forgiveness, remember:

    1. most students are 18 or so when they sign those loan papers and are usually not cognizant of the full consequences and ramifications of those loans. When you’ve never been in debt, and are just out of high school, that is what is expected.

    2. It sure is hard to get a job without a bachelors these days! Even a cheap state school will put a student 20,000 dollars in debt at the end of 4 years.

    3. And MOST IMPORTANT: Big Corporations and banks get subsidies, no-interest loans, bailouts, tax breaks, and, often, low cost or no cost use of government buildings. They get hand outs by the BILLION$$$. Rich people have their jobs locked in for life! These are ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS FOR THE RICH.

    I don’t get that. None of the students leaving school in debt get that kind of royal treatment. They are lucky if they get a paid job these days; many have to settle for unpaid internships.

  36. […] customers. That’s right, a New York group looking to close their bank accounts en masse were charged with trespassing and locked in the bank after the now ex-customers refused to leave. Talk about customer […]

  37. Ingrid says:

    I agree with Ed and Rocky. Baloney. They are Trespassers and they do not represent me as the other 99%. You don’t have to break the law to change the law.