Citibank: Hatin’ on the gays
So, just practicing usury isn’t bad enough, now Citi adds homophobia to its list of redeeming qualities:
Jason Goldberg is the CEO of a company called Fabulis, which is developing a website, iPhone app and social media application targeted at gay men. His company — which is at least his third start-up — is funded by investors including The Washington Post and the venture capitalist Allen Morgan, and they just launched their beta version this month. You would think he would be the kind of customer Citi would want — but Citi decided otherwise after a compliance officer reviewed his site and decided that a social networking application for gay men was “objectionable.”
Without notifying Goldberg or anyone at Fabulis, Citi shut down their bank accounts for objectionable content on Fabulis’ blog, though it refused to specify which content. After hours of phone calls, several articles and a threat to take their banking elsewhere, Citi finally called Goldberg to say that the three Citi employees who had decided Goldberg’s social networking site was objectionable were “wrong to have said what they said.” Note that the bank did not say they were wrong to have suspended his account without notification, or to have flagged his blog as objectionable because it talks about the gay-themed (but not pornographic) company that he is starting, but just that the three employees statements to him were wrong.