A Black businesswoman has accused a Connecticut bank of racism after officials there allegedly refused to allow her to withdraw her money. Gwen Samuel said she felt humiliated by the alleged incident that took place at the Southington-based branch of TD Bank.
According to her, officials of the bank did not offer any explanation why they refused to give her the money. She later used the ATM of the bank’s other branch to withdraw her money.
Samuel is a social activist and founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, a group advocating for equal educational opportunities for children in Connecticut. She said she has been a customer of the bank for 16 years and had gone to withdraw an amount of $1,000 from the bank to pay a vendor.
“I go inside, I had my TD Bank card and my license. They were cordial. I’m not even gonna say they were rude,” she told Fox61. According to her, the teller at the branch spent a lot of time going through her account before refusing the withdrawal.
“She hands me my license and she says, ‘I don’t feel comfortable giving you the money.’ So, I got confused, so I said, ‘You don’t feel comfortable giving me the money,’” she said. “Well, you just deposited the check yesterday.”
Even though Samuel told the teller that the check has been cleared and verified, the teller responded: “And she said ‘oh yeah it cleared. The money is available. I just don’t feel comfortable giving it to you,’” a speechless Samuel said.
In a statement, TD Bank said it is proudly serving a diverse community and does not discriminate against its customers. The statement also described the incident as regrettable and noted that it was contacting the victim to address her concerns.
“At TD Bank, we proudly serve diverse communities and customers and do not discriminate in the services we provide or the products we offer,” the statement said. “The security of our customers’ accounts is a top priority and we regret that the specific reasons why the transaction could not be completed may not have been explained to Ms. Samuel at our Queen Street store in Southington.”