SunTrust Banks Excommunicates the Benham Brothers

OK… so I have an envelope on my desk this very moment to open a new card account with SunTrust.

Then I noticed this story from the Daily Caller: “Exclusive: SunTrust Cuts Business Ties With Benham Brothers After Conservative Views Attacked.”

First they lost their television show. Now the Benham brothers say they are losing their business.

SunTrust Banks is cutting ties with would-be reality stars David and Jason Benham after liberal activists attacked them for their conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, The Daily Caller has learned.

In a statement provided first to TheDC on Friday, the Benham brothers confirmed that SunTrust Banks has pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business, which includes several franchisees across four states.

The move comes just a week after HGTV announced it was canceling a planned home renovation show hosted by the brothers.

“If our faith costs us our HGTV show and our business, then so be it,” said Jason Benham on Friday.

“We were caught off-guard with this one,” David Benham said of SunTrust’s actions. “Keeping us off television wasn’t enough, now this agenda to silence wants us out of the marketplace.”

The Benhams, in their statement, said the news came “without warning or explanation from SunTrust and took place over a 15 minute period” on Thursday. The Brothers said they have had a “mutually productive working relationship with SunTrust for many years” and hold a ”preferred broker” status with the bank.

The brothers said they contacted SunTrust, but bank employees declined to explain the reasoning for what happened.

Reached for comment by TheDC on Friday, SunTrust corporate spokesman Mike McCoy would not say whether the Benhams’ political views impacted their decision.

Looks like I’ll be visiting my local branch instead, to let them know I’ll be removing all of my business (been with them since I moved here almost 20 years ago), unless they rescind this decision, or at least provide a legitimate business explanation.

Also, I’m writing a letter to their Chairman and CEO, William H. Rogers, Jr. this very moment, which I will drop off at my local branch today, asking for a response.

If they don’t want the Benham’s business, then obviously they don’t want mine, either.

 

P.S. Here is the letter:

 

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention today, through a report of “The Daily Caller,” that you have terminated all business relations with David and Jason Benham. I’m guessing I don’t have to go into any depth of explanation—by now you’ve surely gotten extensive updates on the matter, but the link to the story is here: http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/16/exclusive-suntrust-cuts-business-ties-with-benham-brothers-after-conservative-views-attacked/?print=1

Either this is an extremely unfortunate choice of viewpoint suppression on your part, or really bad timing for a decision being made for other reasons. Regardless, I am anxious for a direct response as to why this move was made, and whether the report is accurate.

I have done all of my personal and business banking with SunTrust for nearly 20 years, but this decision on your part forces me to say that if you don’t want to do business with the Benhams, you obviously don’t want to do business with me, either. I will allow time for a response, and/or a reversal of this action on SunTrust’s part, but if no change or legitimate explanation is forthcoming, I must bid farewell to every relationship I have with your bank.

It is perhaps the ultimate irony that this very morning I decided to take you up on the offer of a SunTrust Mastercard–to replace a card I have with another bank. Needless to say, that envelope is not going anywhere until this matter is satisfactorily resolved.

Please know, I am not the “boycott” kind of person—and I can’t remember ever having written a letter like this before—but know that I will use every contact I have developed in more than 30 years in broadcast media to ensure as many people as possible are aware of your move against the Benhams. I sincerely hope your response makes all of that unnecessary, but obviously you have every right to choose those with whom you will do business, as do I.

Sincerely,