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Cuomo Administration Blames Bank For Unemployment Comp Delays

KeyBank Pushes Back Against Criticism

Keith Griffin

September 24, 2020

KeyBank atm user

The issues surrounding KeyBank’s handling of unemployment compensation debit cards continue. This time New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped into the fray but KeyBank pushed back.

The New York Post reports KeyBank is the institution contracted by the state to process the extra payments to more than 2 million jobless New Yorkers. Late last week the bank and the New York Department of Labor said that processing glitches prevented many of the 2.26 million recipients from receiving three weeks of retroactive $300 benefits totalling $1.9 billion through President Trump’s Lost Wage Assistance program, as promised.

On Monday, Cuomo was asked about the issue at a press conference. He referred the question to his top aide, Secretary Melissa DeRosa. She blamed KeyBank for the delay and warned that the bank would be banned from doing business with state government in the future if it doesn’t fix the problem.

DeRosa said the problem was on “KeyBanks’ side,” and added, “They have been read the Riot Act.” She said state officials were told by KeyBank the processing glitch would be fixed by the end of the day Friday.

“So. if you’re saying there’s still people on social media this morning, they should reach out to the Department of Labor directly and we’ll also make sure [the agency] issues an update this morning,” DeRosa said.

KeyBank issued a statement later Monday saying all issues on its end were resolved — and pointed the finger at the Labor Department for any outstanding benefits issues.

“A processing issue that caused a delay in Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) payments specifically to Key2Benefits cardholders was resolved and all claimants received their funds by 3:30 a.m., Saturday morning,” the statement said.

KeyBank’s unemployment debit cards have been in the news before this year. In May, hundreds would line up at a time to use the sole KeyBank ATM in Manhattan, not knowing other options were available.

Some of those in the queue admit they didn’t read the fine print that came with the debit cards. The bank has surcharge-free access to cardholders at any Allpoint ATM locations, of which there are more than 100 in Manhattan, a spokeswoman said.

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