Black Architect Interrogated and Humiliated by Bank After Depositing Paycheck

You can’t drive, fly or lodge while black. So why not add banking to the mix?

Trish Cole Doolin
Trish Cole Doolin Facebook Screenshot

According to a post on her Facebook page, architect Trish Cole Doolin relocated to Seattle in September to work at Nelson Connections as a job captain in architecture. Earlier this week, Doolin sought to deposit her paycheck into her account at Key Bank. But 15 minutes after she deposited her funds, Doolin got a call from someone from the bank asking her to come back because there was “a problem.”

The bank employee—identified by BuzzFeed as Thor Loberg—apparently thought that something about Doolin was suspicious, based on his line of questioning. According to her initial account on Facebook, Doolin said that Loberg acted as if she’d stolen something. Not only did he reportedly call human resources to confirm her employment, but he Googled her company and asked for her personal desk number, among other probing questions.

Doolin was then reportedly told that the bank would place a hold on her paycheck for nine days because her account had not been open for 30 days and the bank needed to verify the funds.

Doolin later recounted her experience in a Facebook post that was shared by friends on social media.

“When I realized that I was defending who I was, trying to prove to someone I didn’t know who I was, I knew I was being discriminated against,” Doolin told BuzzFeed after her ordeal. “It was just completely demeaning.”

She adds, “I live in a world where, no matter what’s in my brain or purse, no matter how I wear my hair, no matter how fabulous I look when I walk out the door, I’m still black,” she says. “People still clutch their purses when I walk past.”

Doolin reportedly then spoke to a woman at the bank who assured her that race played no part in her experience. “I can assure he is far from racist,” the woman said of Loberg. “He would have done that to any other customer.”

As a result of the story, KeyBank released an official statement defending its actions and denying any racism or discrimination.

As a company, KeyBank values diversity within our organization, our communities and our clients. We do not tolerate discrimination. Client confidentiality means we cannot speak to any specific client’s situation. We can however, describe our Funds Availability Policy regarding client deposits and holds that may be placed on client deposits. Generally speaking and in compliance with applicable law, we advise clients who are new to KeyBank that we may place holds for a short period of time on their deposits during the first 30 days after they open their account with us.

The post went viral, and on Thursday, Doolin posted on Facebook that she received “an apology via phone from the executive office at Key Bank.”

Doolin said that she plans to switch banks this weekend.

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