Last month, ADC Michigan and the ADC National Office received numerous calls from concerned members, regarding five major Michigan banks that recently publicized their sponsorship of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the Detroit Jewish News. These banks included Bank One, Huntington National Bank, National City Bank, Comerica Bank and Standard Federal Bank.
In a letter sent out to all five banks by ADC Michigan on November 19, 2004, ADC states, “It is quite disturbing and appalling that your institution would financially support the armed forces of a foreign country, especially a country that is engaged in one of the world’s longest and most divisive conflicts in history. This publicized support is contrary to your institution’s stated polices, which indicate that you do not interfere, or engage in political matters, nor do you endorse any political entity, especially one that is outside of the United States of America.” The letter went on to state that the concerns of many customers stem from “the genuine belief that respected financial entities have no business, and ought to remain neutral, in any type of political conflict.” ADC also requested an explanation of each bank’s stated position and a written clarification of their polices and regulations, regarding such a matter.
In response to ADC’s expressed concerns, all of the banks, with the exception of Bank One, responded to ADC. ADC appreciates the commitment of these banks and their assurances that participation in such matters will not reoccur. All four institutions displayed sincere understanding for the community’s concerns and have reemphasized their commitment to uphold their policies of not lending support to any political, or foreign entity. ADC also appreciates the concerted efforts of these banks to enhance and advance their relationship with the community. CONTINUED ACTION:
ADC continues to call on community members to contact Bank One and request that they also address the community’s concerns. ADC is truly is appalled and disturbed that a well-respected institution would disregard the community’s concern and refuse to engage in dialogue about a matter that has alarmed many of their customers. A number of customers have already attempted to communicate with Bank One officials, but have not received any positive response. “It is appalling that Bank One would completely ignore this important concern, states ADC Regional Director Imad Hamad. “ADC will continue its efforts to communicate with Bank One and will not rest until this matter is resolved.”
The office number to Bank One CEO Jamie Diamond is 212-270-1111. To contact the VP of Community Relations in Michigan, Cheryl Fallen, call 313-225-3735, or email Cheryl_fallen@bankone.com.