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Case Code: CLBE020
Case Length: 2 pages 
Period: -  
Pub Date: 2009
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject : Business Ethics
Organization :--
Industry : Banking
Countries : --

Bank of America: It's Bank Policy!*



When Steve Valdez went to a Bank of America branch to encash a check, he was denied service. The bank policy stipulated that if a person did not have an account with the bank s/he had to provide a thumbprint to have a check encashed. Valdez did not have a thumb but the bank still refused to serve him, citing bank policy.
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  • Ethics.
  • Compliance policy.
  • Disciplinary actions.
In 2009, when Steve Valdez (Valdez) went to a Bank of America (BoA) branch in the Tampa area in Florida to cash a check, he was in for a shock. The bank refused to serve him unless he provided a thumbprint. And this, despite Valdez having a compelling reason for not complying with the demand - he was born without hands and wore prosthetic arms...
Questions for Discussion:
1. Discuss the ethical issues related to this case. Analyze the roles of each of the people involved and the bank.

2. "Human beings have an ethical obligation not to stick to [policies] when they result in outrageous consequences to others, and there is no counterbalancing benefit to be gained by doing so, other than not varying from the policy." Discuss.


Ethics, Policy, Compliance policy, Disciplinary action, KeyBank

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
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