Incarcerated Customers

Posted By: Naise

Incarcerated Customers - 03/28/16 08:08 PM

So I'm going over our weekly deposit announcements to give Compliance approval prior to sending the messages out to the entire bank, and we apparently have a policy which states "Accounts cannot be opened for anyone while they are in prison or jail. This includes those that are on “work release” and/or live in a “half-way” house. If a client is at a facility by order of the court, an account cannot be opened for them."

I really don't like the idea of blocking people, especially the work release and halfway house examples (I doubt this would come up, but I'm assuming this prohibition is regarding permanent residence issues; people on house arrest are also provided work release so I may ask them to qualify what type of work release), but since they're not a "protected class" I think the bank can have this policy; however, are there any legal circumstances in which we would want to consider opening an account? E.g. some kind of legal guardianship arrangement?
Posted By: Elwood P. Dowd

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/28/16 08:28 PM

Some businesses automatically deny convicted felons a job. Depending on the job vs. the crime, it might be inherently reasonable. In other cases it's discrimination that is heavily dependent on ignorance for its justification. There is a movement against it.

A person who is incarcerated can have a court appointed fiduciary, generally called a conservator. That person can conduct banking business on their behalf, including the opening of a bank account - if you allow it. The prisoner's issue is that he or she is competent, but cannot be present. However, if an individual, through a work release program or residence in a halfway house, can come into the bank and conduct his or her own transactions just like everyone else I do not comprehend why a bank would treat them like they are something less than what they are.

Can anyone point out what the real issue might be? It escapes me.
Posted By: HappyGilmore

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/29/16 03:00 PM

likely an old way of thinking, just like there are "good customers" who in reality aren't, a person who has been incarcerated clearly would be a "bad customer".
Posted By: NotDoneYet

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/29/16 03:03 PM

We had a customer on work release, with the ankle bracelet, and she let us know she was not permitted to come inside a bank due to the nature of her crime. She got curb side service.
We had a guy who needed a car loan, but had a big gap in his employment record. He had served 3 years for the death of his best friend because of that DUI accident. It wasn't easy for him to tell us that story, but he got the loan.
Not everyone will agree with how things were handled, but we were community bank with a heart.
Posted By: edAudit

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/29/16 05:18 PM

We had a customer on work release, with the ankle bracelet, and she let us know she was not permitted to come inside a bank due to the nature of her crime. She got curb side service.

There is a reason why Drive ups are usually behind bullet resistant glass which may or may not have anything to do with you customer. It is a risk to have your employee walk out of the bank with a handful of money.
Posted By: NotDoneYet

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/29/16 08:20 PM

No drive up facility, and she was an existing customer. I should clarify, it was to accept checks for deposit. In the very small community where the bank was located, it wasn't considered a problem back then.
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 03/31/16 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By Ken_Pegasus


Can anyone point out what the real issue might be? It escapes me.


Subtle, Ken. Very subtle. But I'm still surprised this crowd didn't give you a standing "LOL!"
Posted By: Naise

Re: Incarcerated Customers - 04/01/16 08:50 PM

RE: Ban the Box. I was kind of expecting the link to be about Louisville KY since you're around here somewhere, too. I remember following the story and I was really happy when it passed, but I didn't realize it was almost two years ago. I also missed that the entire state, IN and OH followed suit a year ago. Strangely progressive for this area.