Citibank's Snafu Over Gay Site Looks Familiar

Citibank apologized Thursday evening to a gay social-networking service that claimed bank employees had blocked its account for “objectionable content” on the site.

In a statement, the bank said it “sincerely apologizes to [Jason] Goldberg for this misunderstanding. This situation had nothing to do with the content of his web site and any comments by our staff to the contrary were incorrect; we are reviewing what happened.” But questions remain about the bank’s policies; Deal Journal reported last week that a business selling underwear online was denied a Citi account because of the bank’s concerns about content.

Mr. Goldberg, whose site fabulis recently received $625,000 in funding from investors led by The Washington Post Co. (WPO), said in an interview that he opened a business account with Citi and deposited that seed money into the account last month. Earlier this week, he said, he found himself unable to access the funds. He blogged about his experience, describing repeated conversations with Citibank staff in which he says they told him about a review process that found the content of his site was not in compliance with the bank’s policies.

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