Turtle Bay

US banks to UN diplomats: We don’t want your money

Dear foreign diplomats, U.S.  banks might not want your business. On March 31, J.P. Morgan Chase plans to shut down its division serving the banking needs of New York- and Washington-based embassies and foreign missions to the United Nations. In a terse letter, Chase recently wrote that "we recommend that you open a bank account ...

Dear foreign diplomats, U.S.  banks might not want your business.

On March 31, J.P. Morgan Chase plans to shut down its division serving the banking needs of New York- and Washington-based embassies and foreign missions to the United Nations. In a terse letter, Chase recently wrote that "we recommend that you open a bank account with another financial institution, and begin using it immediately in order to minimize any disruption."

The move by Chase – which came without explanation – marks the latest instance in which an American financial institution has cut off services to foreign governments. In November, Bank of America cut off five accounts held by the Angolan Embassy in Washington, and several other banks have told U.S. officials they plan to get out of diplomatic banking.

Diplomats say they now fear they won’t be able to carry out their most basic functions in the United States. Read my entire article at the Washington Post.

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy’s award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. @columlynch

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