Gwen Samuel, a Black woman from Connecticut, was left humiliated after a teller at the bank refused to let her withdraw cash from her own account as the employee felt uncomfortable handing over the money to the victim. The alleged racist incident took place at the Southington based branch of TD Bank.
Samuel is CEO and founder of Connecticut Parents Union, a group advocating for equal educational opportunities for children in Connecticut. The victim finally made an ATM withdrawal from another branch of the bank.
Bank Employee Didn't Give Explanation For Refusal
Speaking to Fox61, Samuel revealed that she has been a customer of the bank for the 16 years. Stating that she had gone to withdraw an amount of $1,000 from the bank, Samuel said she thought it would have been a simple transaction.
"I go inside, I had my TD Bank card and my license. They were cordial. I'm not even gonna say they were rude," Samuel said adding that the teller at the branch spent a lot of time going through her account before refusing the withdrawal.
"She hands me my license and she says, 'I don't feel comfortable giving you the money.' So, I got confused, so I said, 'You don't feel comfortable giving me the money,'" she said. "Well you just deposited the check yesterday."
On being told that the check was already verified and cleared, the teller said, "Oh yeah, it cleared. The money is available. I just don't feel comfortable giving it to you."
Bank Issues Statement Denying Racism
Claiming that she felt humiliated, Samuel said that the teller did not give a reason for her statement. "I was so hurt and I didn't want to start crying," Samuel told the outlet.
Samuel said that following the incident she could have closed her account with the bank. "Even though it happened to me, I don't want anyone else to have the terrible experience. 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."
Later in a statement issued to HuffPost, TD Bank said that it doesn't discriminate in the services or products and proudly serves diverse communities and customers. "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," the bank said in the statement.