TCF’s kneejerk reaction

More rational steps should be taken to comply with federal policies.

Daily Editorial Board

 

Last week, several University of Minnesota professors kept their word about closing down personal TCF Bank accounts in protest of recent controversy over the bank’s dealings with several Iranian University students. The bank gave notice to close “at least eight Iranian students’ accounts,” the Minnesota Daily reported on Feb. 25. TCF responded to a letter sent by faculty in late January, explaining its mandatory compliance with federal regulations and that its policy in general is to “ensure that funds do not originate from a U.S.-blocked Iranian financial institution.” Notice was sent to these students despite TCF not alleging that any laws had been broken.

Because TCF has such a strong presence in our community and financial relationships with faculty and students of the University, it is important that they are held accountable by their customers a sizable portion of them being international students. TCF knows the diversity of its customers, and should be looking for ways to accommodate that diversity, not discriminate against it. Serious ethical practices are called into question when a group of students’ rights are challenged in this way.

When a private institution like TCF has such an overwhelming presence, as it does at the University, it has an obligation to the University and to its students to have the appropriate human resources to deal with situations like these. When federal policies must be taken into consideration, it’s understandable that the bank wants to take precautions. However, having kneejerk reactions that harm relationships with customers is not a viable option.

It’s bad business to give abrupt notification of closure without proper reason; students should always be made aware of their options so they aren’t left stranded without checking accounts, as TCF seems ready to leave several University students.