Arrested For Closing Down Bank Accounts? – VIDEO

As part of Saturday’s global day of action against Wall Street and corporate power, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, protesters in New York and elsewhere organized groups to go to the major banks to withdraw their money.

The day started off smoothly, with a group of people organized by the Labor Outreach working group from Occupy Wall Street arriving at a Chase bank to withdraw their money. Chase went off without a hitch, but by the time the protesters made it to a Citibank branch there was trouble.

Twenty-three Customers Of Citibank Placed Under Arrest

Twenty-three 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.

From Commondreams:

Citibank responded to the allegations of arresting customers 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.

Criminal Trespass For Going To Your Own Bank?

But the charge is “criminal trespass.”  For trying to withdraw your own money from a bank?

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Photo Credit: The Whistling Monkey


W. C
W. C11 months ago


William C
William C11 months ago

Thank you.

Linda C.
Linda C.6 years ago

UNBELIEVABLE. This was a small number of people who did not disrupt ordinary bank service. I was not able to count the number of policemen who converged on a single young woman who was simply trying to close her account.

charles thomas
Charles Thomas6 years ago

Many banks have cut costs by having several "branch managers", all young, low paid staff, who are clueless when something out of the ordinary occurs. Is this an excuse? No.

Wende Anne Maunder
Wendé Maunder6 years ago

If I hadn't watched to video, I wouldn't have believed this story. It's a tragic farce.

Unnikrishnan Sasi

If they did this 2 me all hell will break loose

Sylvia B.
Sylvia B6 years ago


Jen L.
Jen L6 years ago

People have the right to do with their money what they want. To arrest them shows this country mind as well be a communistic society. The banks were afraid of collapse. It is just their karma coming to bite them in the ass. It is the Better Business Bureau that will be investigating this and those people arrested will be freed and probably file lawsuits against the banks. If banks were loyal to their customers, not only account holders, but mortgage holders, there would not be the mess there is today. IT IS TIME FOR THEM TO WAKE UP!

Rodney Paige
Rodney P6 years ago

It seems to me that the problem is with large numbers of people going at one time as a group to close their accounts. While I agree that arresting people is ridiculous, I also say strategies should be changed when they are shown to hinder the objective. The objective is to close the accounts, not to cause a scene doing it. Just go in one at a time and close the account, and achieve the objective without being arrested. This country was founded on a fight, so it seems that's all the people know when they want to change things is Fight Fight Fight! No, sometimes it's just about quietly and calmly doing the progressive thing. I wasn't arrested for closing my bank account because i didn't make a scene of it, I just did it.

Lynn Squance
Lynn S6 years ago

With 40 years of banking behind me, 7 of those years as a branch manager, I can tell you that this situation is ridiculous. The branch manager should have been highly visible diffusing the situation, calmly assessing the events unfolding. 23 people in a branch does not seem like a lot. I can easily see myself in that situation and how I would have handled it. Where was the branch manager, hiding under his desk so that the guards and clerks could do his job? There is no excuse for not allowing customers to close their accounts. Or is it that Citibank is literally running low on reserves. Hence the call for larger capital reserves etc.

In Canada, chequing accounts are classified as demand deposits, which means that if a client wants to close the account, then they have that right without notice to the bank. If the account has a very large balance and the client wants cash, the bank might have to arrange for extra cash to meet the client's request and the bank's normal cash requirements which could take 1 or 2 days. Of course, everybody will get the marketing speil because bank's really do hate to lose market share. However, it isn't wise to carry cash so the bank could issue bank drafts within a very few minutes. Savings accounts can be held to a 7 day notice period but rarely are. CDs can be cashed based on the terms of deposit and mutual funds based on selling the units. Now the Canadian system is far from perfect, but it does allow for customer access.