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Bank of America shuts down Angolan embassy’s checking account

This seems embarassing: The Angolan Embassy here canceled tonight’s celebration planned to mark the country’s 35th independence anniversary, following a decision by Bank of America to close the embassy’s checking accounts. […] The Angolan embassy began doing business with Bank of America three months ago after HSBC Bank USA closed all embassy accounts, apparently as ...

This seems embarassing:

The Angolan Embassy here canceled tonight's celebration planned to mark the country's 35th independence anniversary, following a decision by Bank of America to close the embassy's checking accounts. [...] The Angolan embassy began doing business with Bank of America three months ago after HSBC Bank USA closed all embassy accounts, apparently as part of a broader move to reduce or cut ties with the oil-rich African nation.
In a letter dated October 25, 2010, Bank of America advised the embassy to stop writing checks and stated that all embassy accounts would be closed by November 9. But the letter gave no reason for the action, and no additional information has been provided. Embassy funds on deposit with the bank remain frozen, leaving mission staff in Washington without operating funds, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Bank of America declined to comment on why the account was shut down, but Angola was one of four countries cited in a recent Senate investigation into how corrupt governments exploit the U.S. financial system to launder money. 

This seems embarassing:

The Angolan Embassy here canceled tonight’s celebration planned to mark the country’s 35th independence anniversary, following a decision by Bank of America to close the embassy’s checking accounts. […]

The Angolan embassy began doing business with Bank of America three months ago after HSBC Bank USA closed all embassy accounts, apparently as part of a broader move to reduce or cut ties with the oil-rich African nation.
In a letter dated October 25, 2010, Bank of America advised the embassy to stop writing checks and stated that all embassy accounts would be closed by November 9. But the letter gave no reason for the action, and no additional information has been provided. Embassy funds on deposit with the bank remain frozen, leaving mission staff in Washington without operating funds, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Bank of America declined to comment on why the account was shut down, but Angola was one of four countries cited in a recent Senate investigation into how corrupt governments exploit the U.S. financial system to launder money. 

According to the AllAfrica.com story, Angola’s is one of 16 African missions in the United States whose accounts have recently been shut down by U.S. banks.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Angola

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