I recently applied on-line for a MyAccess checking account from BofA. I already have a credit account with BofA. I asked before applying if there would be a hard inquiry and was told no by several rep's. This was a week ago and so far there has been no inquiry.
However, in the materials I agreed that I had read and assented to as part of the application process I found the following section. Hopfully this settles the matter. Like or not you agreed to it!
Credit Reports and Other Inquiries
We may make any inquiries that we consider appropriate to
help us verify your identity and determine if we should open,
maintain, collect or close your account. This may include verification
of employment and credit reports or other reports from
account information services and credit reporting agencies.
If you ask, we will tell you whether we requested a credit report
and, if we did request a report, we will tell you the name,
address and telephone number of the reporting agency.
When filling out the application for a checking account, the section that ask why your social security number is used states this:
Your Social Security Number
We ask for your Social Security number so that we can pull your credit bureau data, which in turn assists us in processing your application.
FYI - Here is the section that pertains to identification:
Federal law, including the USA PATRIOT Act, requires all financial
institutions to obtain, verify and record information that
identifies each customer who opens an account with that financial
When you apply for an account, we will ask for your legal name,
address, date of birth and your Tax Identification Number (TIN).
We may require one or more forms of unexpired photo identification.
We may validate the information you provide to us to
ensure we have a reasonable assurance of your identity. We
may contact you for additional information. If your account is
funded before we verify your information, you may not have
access to your funds. If we are not able to verify your identity
to our satisfaction, we will not open your account or we may
close the account if it was previously funded.