The Last Straw

This is it.  Stick a fork in me because I am done.  We’ve had some good times, but the bad far outnumber them.  For the past eleven years, I’ve put up with your ever changing terms and conditions, and although it seemed reasonable at the time it was happening, I just can’t take it anymore.

I’ve thought about leaving before, and, always found a reason to come back regardless of how badly I was treated. But the price of remaining in this relationship has taken an unacceptable toll on my psychological and financial well-being. You are just too damn dysfunctional. Don’t try to stop me because my mind is made up. I’m leaving for good, once and for all.

PS:  I’ve found another so don’t bother contacting me ever again.

(Click for larger image)

Life is a series of relationships -some personal and others professional- but both have one thing in common –Quality or lack thereof. And while I may be willing to look the “other” way for carbon-based people, I’m not so forgiving with those persons of the corporate persuasion.  Case in point: The intended recipient of the missive referenced above.

In all reality, I know that Wells Fargo could give a shit less as to whether I continue to bank with them or not. After all, when compared with their trillion dollar profit margins, my accounts are piddling, at best. But after a decade of exploitation, I’ve simply had it.

The straw that broke the camel’s back happened during the last week of July.   Since my income is not what it used to be, I monitor my bank account very assiduously.  I am acutely aware of every nickel and dime that comes out of it because my bank cannot be trusted. You see, Wells Fargo, much like its other bailed out counterparts, BofA, et al., has been targeting consumer accounts whose balances dip below a certain threshold during specific times of the month.

When this happens, the bank reorders debits from high to low (Note here not chronologically as some may think) and withholds deposits so as to generate overdraft fees.  For the skeptics and/or big bank lovers in the audience, I’m not pulling this out of my ass. Wells was recently nailed in federal court for the practice.

Had I not been micromanaging my account, Wells would have pummeled me (as they have previously) with massive overdraft fees that were assessed through no fault of my own.  BTW – this is all perfectly legal, and, the six largest banks in the U.S. (that have made billions in the process on OD fees alone) have been getting away with gaming debits to generate nine digit annual profits for themselves for years. And given the latest round of regulations, banks will -no doubt- find creative ways around the new laws to make up for the lost profit margins.

I have no interest in spending even more time babysitting my account watching for dubious charges and fighting over the phone with a low level bank drone attempting to have fraudulent OD fees removed. (They rarely are.) Instead, I am closing the account and putting my money elsewhere –Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Buh-BYE!

My money by itself may not amount to a hill of beans on Planet Too-Big-To-Fail, and, moving it to a smaller bank may not adversely affect Wells Fargo’s bottom line in any meaningful way, but if enough consumers pull out their money en masse in favor of credit unions and community banks, then you can bet the farm that this collective endeavor will have a major impact.

In fact, as reported by the FDIC from the first fiscal quarter of this year, approximately $5B has been moved out of big banks into smaller ones. Yes, that’s billion spelled with a “b.”  Or 10 to the 9th power for the scientifically inclined. This phenomenon has been spurred on and detailed by the Move Your Money people.

So if you’re fed up with being kicked around by your bank, vote with your wallet and move your money.  Star by finding another bank or CU here.

And if you’re still not persuaded to leave your one and only because you think it will be too problematic, I’ve taken the trouble to compile a list of comparisons between a big bank like Wells versus the average credit union. It is by no stretch comprehensive, but it may, however, persuade you to change your mind irrevocably and leave your abuser permanently.

Start saving money by investing in your own community.

Incidentally, smaller community banks and credit unions won’t resequence your debits from high to low and withhold deposits to generate overdraft fees because there is no incentive for them to do so.  The CUs and smaller banks have to play by entirely different rules than what the giant, corporate, Federal Reserve favored ones do. But that is a separate discussion.

[Click Menu bottom left hand side to enlarge to view full screen.]

References

The Creature from Jekyll Island (video)  Highly Recommended

Top 50 White Collar Criminals Banks

How New Overdraft Protection Laws Don’t Protect You

The New Bank Fees: How to Fight Back

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 Responses to The Last Straw

  1. THREE says:

    See? Commu… I mean, ‘socialism’ isn’t really that bad now, right? 😉

    (Can’t believe that 80’s song actually made an appearance in this post)

  2. GPC says:

    Don’t go with Sovereign because they suck as bad as Wells Fargo right on the same level of scum!

  3. P Diddy says:

    I have banked with CUs for years. Sure the idea behind the CUs have been bastardized, but they are one way for the little guy to take care of bidnez with out paying out the ar$e.

  4. I’m with a smaller sized bank, but also have an account at a credit union (savings) The problem I have had with my smaller bank is that is small enough that it has been ‘bought’ by other medium sized banks and like one ameba absorbing another the name changes, and so do the ‘rules’ slightly. I want something that is FDIC insured, but not one of the godzilla monster banks as you describe. American banking sometimes feel like a damned if you do damned if you don’t thing. Ahhh, for the days when you could put your money in your matress…LOL Great post Peyton!

    • Thx, Lisa! Credit unions are insured by the Natl Credit Union Administration (NCUA). And I’d be willing to bet that of failed banks that are listed by the FDIC here, very few (if any) are credit unions. I base that on the data here that shows as of 24 August 2010, there are 118 bank failures and 14 credit unions. I’ll take those kind of odds any day over a bank that reorders debits and withholds deposits to generate OD fees for itself.

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