US bank seeks thumbprint of armless man

MIAMI - A man who sought to cash his wife's check at her bank ran into an unusual problem: the teller wanted his thumbprint. Problem was, the man had no arms.
Steve Valdez, a resident of Tampa, Florida, went into a Bank of America branch in his home town to cash the check on his wife's request, local media reported Thursday.
The teller told him that a person without an account at the bank has to give a thumbprint to cash a check.

US bank seeks thumbprint of armless man
Valdez, 54, uses prosthetic arms since he was born armless.
"She said, 'Obviously you aren't going to be able to give us a thumbprint,'" Valdez told the St. Petersburg Times newspaper, which serves the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Valdez showed the bank teller two picture identification cards, but the teller was not swayed.
She consulted the manager, who said that in order to cash the check Valdez could open his own account, or bring his wife. Valdez did neither and left.
Bank of America apologized.
"We should have offered alternative requirements if an individual is not able to give a thumbprint," the bank said in a statement.
Valdez said he was told the manager was following bank policy.
"That's just shocking to me. This can't have been the first time this has ever come up," Valdez told the newspaper.

Friday, September 4th 2009

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