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‘I Just Don’t Feel Comfortable Giving It to You’: TD Bank Teller Refuses to Give Connecticut Black Woman Money from Her Own Account

A Black woman says she experienced racism when her request to withdraw money from her business account at a TD Bank in Connecticut was denied.

Businesswoman Gwen Samuel told Fox 61 a bank teller told her she didn’t “feel comfortable” giving her the money.

Samuel, founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, an educational advocacy group, stopped by the TD Bank location in Southington earlier this month to withdraw money from a recently deposited check.

Samuel said she needed the money to compensate a photographer who had worked at an education-for-all event held earlier in the day.

“I go inside, I had my TD bank card and my license,” Samuel said. “They were cordial. I’m not even gonna say they were rude.”

Businesswoman Gwen Samuel told Fox 61 a bank teller told her she didn’t “feel comfortable” giving her the money when she requested to withdraw cash from her account. (Photo: Fox 61/screenshot)

She waited for few minutes, assuming at first that nothing unusual was happening.

“And I see her over there and I was like, ‘Oh, she looks like she’s going through my account. OK, maybe that’s just the policy,’” she said.

What happened next made Samuel wonder if she was valued differently by the bank because of her race, despite having an account there.

“She hands me my license and she says, ‘I don’t feel comfortable giving you the money,'” said Samuel, who was attempting to withdraw somewhere around $1,000.

“So I got confused, so I said, ‘You don’t feel comfortable giving me the money,'” she said. “She said, ‘Well, you just deposited the check yesterday.'”

Samuel spoke up to tell the woman the check had cleared, and the teller confirmed it.

“And she said, ‘Oh yeah, it cleared. The money is available. I just don’t feel comfortable giving it to you,’” Samuel said.

Feeling embarrassed, Samuel went outside of the bank to use the ATM and was able to withdraw the maximum without any issues.

“I was so hurt, and I didn’t want to start crying,” Samuel said.

At the Bristol TD Bank branch close by, Samuel successfully withdrew the money she tried to withdraw inside the Southington location.

She said the experience was “such a dehumanizing, devaluing thing.”

Protesters demonstrated outside of the Southington location on Monday, March 15. After the protests began, TD Bank released a statement:

“At TD Bank, we proudly serve diverse communities and customers and do not discriminate in the services we provide or the products we offer. 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. We regret that Ms. Samuel did not have a positive experience, which is what we strive to provide, and that she did not receive a satisfactory explanation regarding her transaction. We are contacting her to review her transaction and to understand and address her concerns.”

Samuel called the bank later on to clarify their policies and to make sure no one else has to go through the same “terrible experience.”

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