My strange conversation with TCF Bank


TCF Bank letter to Iranian students (PDF)

TCF Bank letter to Iranian students (Text)

As you can see from my earlier post, the story about TCF Bank closing the bank accounts of Iranian students hasn’t gone away.

And Friday’s announcement of the $10 million fine against TCF adds an interesting backdrop.

This has all reminded me: I never posted the actual letter that TCF sent to the Iranian students. I got a copy from one of the students who’d received it.

That’s the letter above.

Pretty straight-forward, right?

My Jan. 10 phone interview about it with TCF spokesman Jason Korstange was anything but.

He told me:

“It (says) they will be closed if they don’t give us a call. If they have questions or concerns, there’s a number to call, we can try to keep them open.”

That’s simply not what the letter says, as you can see.

To make sure we were talking about the same document, I read it back to him. He confirmed that was indeed it.

I told him the letter in no way stated what he claimed it did, but he didn’t change his stance:

“We also say we are sorry for any inconveniences, and if you have any questions or concerns, there’s a number there to be called. And so again, these accounts have not been closed. And if the students, or whoever, have received this letter call, there are questions that need to be answered …..”

I told Korstange it sounded as if TCF had just changed its tune since sending out the letter. He said the bank hadn’t changed anything.

I’ll spare you the back and forth, but toward the end of our discussion, he did say:

“Maybe our writing could have been a little more clear on that.”

I put in a call to Korstange on Friday for some comment on the fine as well as an update on the students’ situation — but haven’t heard back.