Earlier this week we posted a link to a story about Bank of America reportedly ending its 12-year relationship with stock and firearm maker McMillan Group International.
According to a statement on McMillan’s Facebook page, the company’s director of operations, Kelly McMillan, was told on April 20 that Bank of America no longer wished to do business with McMillan due to its firearm manufacturing operations.
“Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office,” McMillan wrote. “He scheduled the meeting as an ‘account analysis’ meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and [has] become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.
“At this point I interrupted him and asked ‘Can I possibl[y] save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer [want] my business.”
According to McMillan, Fox responded, “That is correct.” McMillan then asked if the decision to end their banking relationship was political, and, according to McMillan, Fox confirmed that it was. At that point McMillan ended the meeting.
“His [Fox’s] statement was that Bank of America had to assess the risk of doing business with a firearms manufacturer,” McMillan said Monday during an interview on NRA News.
After McMillan made public the details of his meeting with Bank of America, news of the banking giant’s alleged anti-gun policy went viral on the Internet. In response, Bank of America posted this somewhat cryptic statement on its Facebook page on Sunday, never once mentioning McMillan, the word “firearms,” or the firearms industry:
“We want to let you know that we hear your comments and questions regarding one of our customers. While we cannot discuss the details of any individual client we work with, we can assure you the allegations being made here are completely false. Bank of America does not have a policy that prohibits us from banking clients in this industry. In fact, we have numerous, longstanding customers in the industry.
“We are also extremely proud of our support of the US military and reject any assertion to the contrary. We count as clients many companies that provide for our nation’s defense. We employ thousands of veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists, and plan to increase our hiring this year.”
Despite Bank of America’s denial of McMillan’s claims, this is not the first time that Bank of America has been accused of refusing to do business with gun companies. In 2010, NRA-ILA received information from a few members detailing problems firearm-related businesses were having with Bank of America. Those complaints indicated that Bank of America had adopted a policy of denying banking services to businesses associated with firearms. NRA- ILA staff contacted Bank of America’s corporate leadership at that time and asked them to provide specific information regarding their policies.
In a conversation with Bank of America Senior Vice President Douglas K. Bland, NRA-ILA was assured that there was no such anti-gun policy.
In fact, Bland provided NRA-ILA with a written statement of their policy, which, at that time, stated, “Bank of America does not have a corporate-wide policy to deny banking services solely on the applicant’s involvement in the firearms industry.”
Still, McMillan stands by his assertion that Bank of America terminated their relationship because of his company’s line of business.
“The statement we [McMillan] posted was an accurate account of the events that transpired late last week. McMillan Group has been in good standing with B of A and a loyal customer for the past 12 years. We were told that we must finalize all of our accounts because we manufacture firearms.
“McMillan cannot speak for Bank of America’s company wide policies, but we can speak out about our personal experiences.
“We [McMillan] kindly suggest that if Corporate Bank of America has no policy against conducting business with firearms manufactures, then they should communicate these policies with their regional Vice Presidents and other management.”
While Bank of America maintains that it does not have an anti-gun policy, Kelly McMillan’s personal experience suggests otherwise. “If they don’t have [an anti-gun] policy, why did they tell me it was because I was in the firearms manufacturing business?” asked McMillan on NRA News.
If you have any first-hand knowledge of business activities by Bank of America that are unfriendly to gun owners or manufacturers, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, McMillan said he has begun looking for a firearms-friendly bank (Bank of America has given the company six months to find a new bank) and is exploring the possibility of no longer accepting Bank of America credits cards as forms of payment.