Although Sirochman eventually succeeded in getting most of his deposits released, he still proceeded to open new accounts at a different bank.
Afterwards, Bank of America sent The Huffington Post this statement: "This customer's concerns have been resolved. Any spike in transaction volumes is routinely reviewed by the bank in order to protect our customers. This process is initiated regardless of the industry in which they do business." (Indeed, B of A still banks other gun manufacturers – a few weeks ago Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent CEO Brian Moynihan a letter urging the lender to pressure a firearm maker client to support new gun controls.)
Something clearly got bungled at Bank of America. No bank wants that kind of publicity. Either a few rogue regional managers acted on their own behalf or a policy directive from the corporate level was miscommunicated. This is a complex issue and typically wide latitude is given on how policy directives are implemented, including triggers for account freezes and their subsequent release. It is also nearly impossible to ascertain or confirm from where a subtle directive originates, which is probably why these stories weren't investigated further.
How ironic it would be to have the North Country Bank and Trust from Moore's film acquired by Bank of America in the next wave of bank consolidations.
Jon Matonis is an e-money researcher and crypto economist focused on expanding the circulation of nonpolitical digital currencies. His career has included senior posts at Sumitomo Bank, Visa, VeriSign, and Hushmail. Currently, he serves on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. Follow him on Twitter.