BANKING BAD: Odessa Bank of America customers locked out of their bank

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:17 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - In the modern world, most people do nearly all their banking online. But some people still bank the old-fashioned way by actually visiting the bank. But what happens when they don’t have that option?

“It just blows my mind,” customer Billie Proctor said. “They’re not supposed to do that.”

Proctor needs some bank work done. She’s been in Del Rio for the past two months, but upon her return home, she stopped by the Bank of America she’s trusted for more than 40 years – to find it closed.

“The balance of our money is here,” she said. “What are we going to do?”

The downtown BOA has been shuttered for more than two weeks due to COVID-19 and staffing issues, but it didn’t notify any of its customers. A steady stream of them showed up throughout the day, only to go home disappointed. Many of them stopped by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce upstairs for help.

“People just don’t know, so they’re coming up to the chamber and calling the chamber, ‘I need to get to the bank. I need my money. What do I do?’, and we can’t help them,” said OCC Operations Specialist Carla Hartwig.

The nearest BOA Financial Center is in Midland, but many customers don’t have the means to get there. Yet, the situation gets worse.

“This ATM is not working,” Hartwig said.

Not only is it not working, but multiple customers we spoke with said the machine ate their card, meaning they couldn’t go two blocks down the road to the next closest ATM.

Customers are fed up.

“Just as soon as this banking center opens, I am closing my account and moving to another bank,” Hartwig said. “Because it’s obvious they don’t care.”

Others are uncertain about what to do next.

“I don’t know,” Proctor said about her next step to access her account. “Sit down and cry?”

CBS7 reached out to Bank of America’s corporate headquarters multiple times for comment but did not receive a response.

Hartwig also told CBS7 because customers weren’t told the bank was going to close, they’re not sure when it’s going to reopen.

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