Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Closing bank account will cost you, group finds

Posted by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM
  • 13 Replies

I'm glad I'm with USAA now and I'll never go back to BoA or Wells Fargo.

Want to close your bank account? It could cost as much as $55, consumer group finds

Want to close your bank account? It could cost you as much as $55.

In a survey of the practices of the 10 largest banks in the country - including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo - policy and advocacy group Consumers Union found that people who want to close their accounts at big banks and switch to a smaller bank can face costly obstacles.

"Banks have added all sorts of fees on basic checking accounts, which has raised alarm bells," said Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney for Consumers Union. "But when you hit breaking point and want to move your money, guess what you encounter: more fees."

Consumers Union said none of the 10 banks will make a free same-day electronic transfer, and all charge for wire transfers or certified checks. Certified checks can cost up to $10 and wire transfers $30.

BB&T and Citibank charge a $25 fee if the account is closed within 90 days, while US Bank, HSBC, and PNC Bank charge customers a $25 fee to close an account that has been open for fewer than 180 days.

The survey was commissioned after the public furor over Bank of America's plan to start charging its customers $5 for using debit cards. Bank of America backed off after many organizations, including Consumers Union and Occupy Wall Street protesters, called on Americans to transfer accounts from large banks into smaller community banks.

A survey of customers at the top 10 banks by consulting firm cg42 in November found that one in five customers actively considered switching accounts. Consumers Union said it soon started hearing from its members that wasn't easy: Not only did it cost money, but it also cost a lot of time.

Opening an account at another bank can take a few days or up to two weeks for all the paperwork to be completed. Re-routing automatic payments and direct deposits into a new account can take four to six weeks and can be a very intimidating and complicated process for some consumers, the group said.

Banks sometimes reopen old accounts after they have been closed by customers.

Chase reopens an account if the bank receives a deposit. Consumers Union said that could easily happen if a direct deposit isn't re-routed in a timely manner. Bank of America's policy is to reopen accounts if any activity hits the account.

Chicago business owner Mark Henderson said he closed his account about 18 months ago and kept receiving statements with a service charge every month saying there wasn't enough money in the account.

After calling several times and telling the bank's customer service representative that the account was closed, Henderson said, he gave up.

"Now I just tear the statement when it comes," Henderson said.

Bank of America spokeswoman Betty Riess wouldn't comment on Henderson's experience. She said the bank advises customers who are closing accounts to allow time for pending payments and deposits to clear the account.

"If we receive a deposit or credit to the account after it has been closed, we may re-open the account to accept the item, and the account could be subject to associated fees. We disclose this to customers," Riess said.

Consumers Union warns that customers can end up owing hundreds of dollars in penalty fees or even a monthly maintenance fee if a re-opened account falls below what is needed to avoid such a fee.

Consumers are at risk of more penalty fees after they switch banks. If merchants and other billers charge for late payments for delays while re-routing automatic payments, the previous bank may charge an overdraft fee on an empty account or for a bounced check.

The 10 banks surveyed are Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citibank, HSBC, PNC, SunTrust, TD Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

As part of the study, the group sent 16 secret shoppers into branches around the country to ask how to close an account and reviewed online fee schedules and account disclosures, tracked news developments, and collected consumer stories.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/closing-bank-account-cost-group-190929864.html

by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
ChancesMommy07
by Silver Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM
Things like this are among the many reasons we are with a credit union.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Ariellasmom
by Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM
Wow, that's not fair
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

 I'm glad we go to a credit union.

tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM


Quoting Ariellasmom:

Wow, that's not fair

Big Banks don't play fair.  Not sure they ever did. 

butterfly on headlynda  




Ariellasmom
by Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM
well, i really would love it if they would play fair


Quoting tweety101149:



Quoting Ariellasmom:

Wow, that's not fair

Big Banks don't play fair.  Not sure they ever did. 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 3:56 PM
1 mom liked this

So would most of the world except the bankers..., lol.. (oops sorry not a laughing matter).

Quoting Ariellasmom:

well, i really would love it if they would play fair


Quoting tweety101149:

 


Quoting Ariellasmom:

Wow, that's not fair

Big Banks don't play fair.  Not sure they ever did. 



butterfly on headlynda  




Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I am SO DONE with Wells Fargo. Since taking over, WF has been a perpetual pain in my ass. Just this week I opened a checking account with a credit union. As soon as I transfer all of my bills over to their bill pay system I am DONE with Wells Fargo. I've had this checking account since 1997 and the bank has changed hands 3 times.

punky3175
by Punky on Jun. 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM
1 mom liked this
Be careful when you switch everything over. Those idiots were paying bills when there was no money in my account and no overdraft protection.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I am SO DONE with Wells Fargo. Since taking over, WF has been a perpetual pain in my ass. Just this week I opened a checking account with a credit union. As soon as I transfer all of my bills over to their bill pay system I am DONE with Wells Fargo. I've had this checking account since 1997 and the bank has changed hands 3 times.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

 I'm so glad I use a credit union....

new_mom808
by Bronze Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 4:41 PM


Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I am SO DONE with Wells Fargo. Since taking over, WF has been a perpetual pain in my ass. Just this week I opened a checking account with a credit union. As soon as I transfer all of my bills over to their bill pay system I am DONE with Wells Fargo. I've had this checking account since 1997 and the bank has changed hands 3 times.

I have never heard one positive comment about WF. As a matter of fact, all of the personal banking horror stories I've heard come back to them.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)