10 Stories of People Moving Their Money, Despite Banks' Efforts to Stop Them
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Banks are shrugging off the (at least) 700,000 accounts they've lost the last six weeks and claim they don't want your business:
[T]he banks are going to be better off because they are getting rid of their least-profitable or not profitable clients. It helps them stem this tsunami of cash that’s been flowing in that they don’t know what to do with.
But not only do they relentlessly advertise for new business on billboards, TV, direct mail and other places, but they fight tooth and nail to prevent people from closing their accounts. The Daily Kos community and others have chronicled many such efforts, so follow me below the fold for ten of these awesome stories.
- "He has a right to speak," said the cop to the banker
When Daily Kos community member marvinborg was distributing flyers outside of local Chase and Bank of America branches encouraging customers to move their money to credit unions, one of the managers called the police on him. When they arrived, the police promptly told the manager off:
"He has the right to speak and the right to hand out flyers. Unless he blocks you or causes a disturbance, he has the right to be here - please don't call the police again if he is not bothering you. If you don't like free speech you should move to another country."
- "You can't be a customer and a protester at the same time."
At a Bank of America branch in Santa Cruz, the manager locked two customers inside a branch as they were trying to close their accounts, and then called the police on them. Supposedly, this was because they were wearing signs. When the police showed up, they didn't arrest anyone, and were just as baffled as the customers:
- "They're arresting everyone?"
At a Citibank in New York City, a customer actually was forcibly arrested when she tried to enter the bank to close her account:
- "Let them in!"
At a Bank of America in St. Louis, security refused to allow customers who wanted to close their accounts inside:
- The bank said "You'll be back."
Even when banks don't call the police, they can give customers sound like jilted boyfriends:
At Wells Fargo, my sister walked up to the teller and politely asked to close her account. The teller said, “No problem.” She pulled up her account and saw the balance and told her that due to the amount she had to speak with the branch manager. The branch manager came out. He was probably 30 years old and was very arrogant. He asked my sister why she wanted to close her account and my sister told him she thought Wells Fargo was part of the problem with the economy. He went thru some talking points about why she shouldn’t move her money, but my sister didn’t back down. When he asked her where she was going she told him that she would be banking at the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union. She isn’t a state employee, but anyone can join if you are related to a state employee. It turns out her husband is. Anyway, the bankster told her “You’ll be back. Credit unions can’t provide the services you need.” We’ll see about that. She withdrew over $200k from Wells Fargo. [Emphasis added]
- "Management is nervous"
In the midst of begging customers not to leave, every once in a while banks can let it slip just how scared they are:
The manager was pleasant enough and very direct. After introducing herself she flat out asked "What can we do to change your mind?" "We don't want to see you go" she emphasized. This opened a door for me to further explain my decision to leave the bank and why I was doing it. Amazingly, it did not fall on deaf ears. She indicated that understood where I was coming from and actually showed genuine surprise at some of the facts I provided her about the less than consumer friendly policies and machinations of her employer. She did make some feeble counter-arguments and repeatedly asked me if I would change my mind (with a hint of desperation!). I stood firm and by the end of our conversation she asked if I would be willing to put it all in writing so she could send it up the chain.
She shared that management is nervous, they are seeing money leaking out of the bank and realize that they have made mistakes. She even hinted that there has been high-level discussion on reversing the new fees since there has been so much consumer push-back. [Emphasis added]