Simple Bank Sued for Discrimination Against Non-Citizens


March 25, 2019—Today Unite the People filed a class-action lawsuit against Simple Bank and its parent and partner entities for its discriminatory policy against allowing non-citizens with valid social security numbers to open bank accounts, as well as its termination of bank accounts belonging to non-citizen.

In violation of the Civil Rights Act and the California Unruh Act, Simple Bank refuses to allow non-citizens to sign up for their banking services. While some banks, such as Simple's parent bank, require permanent residents to sign up for bank accounts in person, Simple Bank provides no alternative accommodations for non-citizens who seek to open an account with them.

Unite the People believes that their shallow justification for doing so, relating to their frivolous interpretation of Treasury regulations, has no basis in law or fact and cannot sustain their discriminatory policies.

As such, we are seeking no less than $4,000 in statutory damages for each class member under the California Unruh Act for California residents per discriminatory occurrence as well as compensatory and punitive damages, a declaratory judgment and an injunction under both acts.

The class action includes all non-citizens who had their accounts terminated by Simple Bank, who attempted to sign up for an account with Simple Bank, or who now attempt to sign up for an account with Simple Bank.

Given the indisputable and egregious nature of Simple Bank's blatantly discriminatory policies, we intend to pursue the matter to trial regardless of any settlement offers which we receive on behalf of the class unless the defendants agree to make the class whole.

We intend to make an example of Simple Bank for any other entities which believe that they can discriminate against immigrants with impunity. The case is number 3:19-cv-01541 in the Northern District of California, Amitabho Chattopadhyay v. BBVA Compass Bancshare, Inc. The complaint is available here (pdf file).

Unite the People have retained as lead counsel for the case the talented and experienced Civil Rights Attorney Erin L. Brinkman, who brings a wealth of experience in complex litigation to the table.

This litigation is made possible by the efforts of our generous donors, and we intend to bring further discrimination lawsuits as and when we obtain the resources to do so.

Anyone who has been denied service, their account terminated or who has been otherwise affected by Simple Bank’s discriminatory policies should reach out to the class representative, Amitabho Chattopadhyay, at

Judson ParkerComment