In 1958, Bank of America mass mailed 60,000 unsolicited credit cards, with a credit line of $500, to residents of Fresno, California. They chose Fresno so that if the plan failed, it wouldn’t get much media coverage. The program was wildly successful and marked the birth of Visa.
In 1836, a sewer worker accidentally discovered an old drain which ran directly into the Bank of England’s gold vault. He wrote letters to the directors of the bank and requested a meeting inside the vault at an hour of their choosing – and popped out of the floor to greet them.
Luke “Milky” Moore, an Australian, was able to overdraft over $1.5 million from his bank. He was eventually sent to prison, appealed and argued his own case, was released, and is now studying to become a criminal defense lawyer.
A young Arkansas woman spent 35 days in jail and paid thousands in fines for a $29 bounced check.
In Dante’s Inferno, bankers were placed in a lower rung of hell than murderers because Dante condemned excessive (>10%) of Interest on Loans.
British banking giant HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), but there were no criminal charges and no one went to prison.
A bank that lost 66 employees in the 9/11 attacks has sent 54 children of their fallen colleagues to college.
Italy’s Credem Bank takes Parmesan cheese from local producers in exchange for cheap loans (charging 3-5% interest, depending on quality) & a fee ensuring the cheese matures properly (2yrs) in the bank vault (cheese is sold if the loan defaults). 430,000 Parmesan wheels ($200M+) are stored there.
A man wrote his own credit card contract then sued the bank for breaking the contract’s terms.
A man successfully “foreclosed” on a Wells Fargo office because they failed to respond to his letters of inquiry and then ignored his $1,000 small claims judgement.