Austrian bank bought by U.S.-headed consortium tells Cuban-born customer to go elsewhere

Author: AP, Published on: 13 April 2007

An Austrian bank recently bought by a U.S.-led consortium acknowledged...that it told a Cuban-born client [and about 100 other Cuban residents of Austria] to take her business elsewhere and suggested that Washington's ban on commerce with Havana was behind the decision. A resident of good standing in her Austrian village, the client, Maria Cajigal-Ramirez...acquir[ed] Austrian citizenship...[but] she still holds her old passport...[T]he company is BAWAG-P.S.K. a bank bought in December by a consortium headed by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management..."I feel anguish and disappointment," she said Friday..."I think I am a victim of discrimination." Government and opposition politicians criticized the bank's decision. Erwin Buchinger, the minister of social and consumer affairs, said he was "outraged by the behavior of BAWAG..." [and]...agreed with Cajigal-Ramirez that the move was discriminatory and said it could be illegal...

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Related companies: Bawag P.S.K. Cerberus Capital Management