# 2: I Can move my financial accounts to a smaller local bank or credit union to shift the power away from the mega banks and promote the value of personal relationships in the industry.
Week #2 Summary: January 8-14th, 2012
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make a deposit in a bank but, generally, how hard it is to make withdrawals? I was reminded of that paradox this week.
Today I believe in small banks and credit unions more than ever before. Is it because the “mega” banks have been harder to work with over the past few years? You’re damn right! Constant changing of what my “average daily balance” needs to be in my account, I can use my debit card for free….wait, just kidding we will charge you for that pleasure….wait, just kidding…we wanted to see if you where paying attention…wasn’t that fun?!?!?!
Look, I believe making money is GOOD! I also believe that treating people with respect, honesty and with integrity is also GOOD. The big banks have shown me that they can make money, but over the past few years their service has been COMPLETELY HORRIBLE. I am going to call my “former” mega bank out on this one…Bank of America…you suck. I am not sure what kind of compensation plan you have for your managers but they must get bonuses for being arrogant, unhelpful and unapologetic for mistakes BANK OF AMERICA makes. If that is the case, your managers are rolling in the dough.
Because I am OVER IT with Bank of America, and because their mistakes cost me hours and hours of my time over the past year, …and because I sort of like to enact some revenge (sometimes it’s fun) I decided to make a special request upon me withdrawing money out of my account. I asked them to pay me out (my entire account) in $20 dollar bills. They told me they would gladly cut me a check but then I told them that their stock was trading around $5 a share and I was worried that the bank was going to be raided and maybe the check wouldn’t be good. They didn’t like that comment. They told me it could take some time to get enough “cash” together to close my account (really, it wasn’t THAT much) to try to persuade me to take a check. I told them that I had brought my computer and my little internet access card and I could work while they got the money together. It was the best 2 hours I have ever spent in Bank of America. CAUTION: While what I did might be funny, and helps prove a point, and kind of sticks it to Bank of America a little bit, I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO THE SAME. Walking out with that much cash is probably unwise.
So then I went down to open another account with my local credit union: Delta Community Credit Union. It’s been a while since I had been in the office and the first thing I see when I walk in is a statement painted on the wall: Treat all members with respect and dignity. Imagine that….a bank based on service and respect. Weird. Anyways, I was quickly greeted and was in and out in about 15 minutes. All the bill pay stuff is re-established and it’s easy to set up. Don’t let the “mega” banks convince you otherwise.
I have a nice person named Sarah that helped me set up my account and also made a follow up phone call to make sure everything was OK. That is customer service and I appreciate it.
Doing business locally is important, especially when it comes to managing your hard earned money. Strongly consider joining me in moving your accounts to a locally operated and community owned bank or credit union. While I know it might not be as “convenient” as the banks that are everywhere, I believe the service and business model will make much more sense to you and also help you keep more of your money.
Good banking is ESSENTIAL to a great America. Banks and banking are not evil, just sometimes the people inside them do bad things and create bad policies. If that ever happens to you, vote with your money and take it somewhere else. You’ll be glad you did. I know I am.