SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Protestors demonstrated outside of a TD Bank branch in Southington on Monday after a Black customer said she was the victim of discrimination.
Gwen Samuel said when she tried to withdraw cash from her own business’s bank account at the Queen Street branch, she was told by bank employees that they "weren't comfortable" giving her the money. The incident happened two weeks ago.
"[This] was such a dehumanizing devaluing thing," Samuel told Channel 3.
Samuel said she was confused because bank employees acknowledged there was enough money in the account to cover the transaction. She tried to withdraw about $1,000.
"She hands me my license and she says 'I don’t feel comfortable giving you the money,'" Samuel explained.
She said the employee never explained why she felt that way. The day beforehand, Samuel said she deposited a large check into the account that the employee insisted had cleared.
There was also no policy in place that prevented Samuel from withdrawing.
"I was so hurt and I didn’t want to start crying," she said.
Less than an hour later, she said she made the withdrawal at another TD Bank branch in Bristol. She said employees there let her make the withdrawal right away.
She called on the bank to make sure their policies are clear so that in the future everyone is treated fairly.
“Even though it happened to me, I don't want anyone else to have the terrible experience,” Samuel said. "I just want them to do better. I could pull my money. I could prove that point, but I could also prove that point by trying to work with them."
TD Bank sent Channel 3 a statement after the protest began.
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 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. Due to privacy concerns, we cannot discuss the account activity of particular customers, although we can confirm that the customer's transaction was completed at another TD store in the vicinity. We regret that Ms. Samuel did not have a positive experience, which is what we strive to provide, and that she did not receive a satisfactory explanation regarding her transaction. We are contacting her to review her transaction and to understand and address her concerns.