Why I Fired My Bank

Recently, after doing business with a large, well-known financial institution for several years, I decided to end our relationship.  One of us wasn’t living up to the others expectations.  So, after ten years of banking at the same place I decided to move my accounts elsewhere.  To fully understand my decision, I need to give you a little background.

When I finally got my financial act together while working overseas I made some big moves that allowed me to enjoy much of the life I’m living today.  I paid off over 50k in debt, saved and invested in dividend paying stocks, cashed out those stocks and bought my home (with cash) and then took a year off to enjoy the process of fixing up my first foreclosure purchase.  I was even able to use the financial security I had created for myself to start a small business that I have been working on over the past six months and the reason you haven’t seen much of me here.  All of this was achieved without the use of credit and it was a deliberate decision.  For the past five years I’ve had no credit history of any kind expect the negative one I had built before my personal finance reinvention.  You could say I had an aversion to debt, and I was happy to handle my financial affairs on a cash basis.  However, with the starting of my small business and the desire to make another real estate purchase in 2015 I realized that credit could help me achieve these goals more efficiently.  Credit was now viewed as a means to help me continue further down my path of producer-oriented vs. consumer-oriented.  And that was the main realization the I had concerning my aversion to credit; the old me looked at credit as a way to consume more than I could afford, to fund a lifestyle at the expense of my future self and led me to the financial pitfall  I found myself in five years ago.  The new me sees credit as a means to furthering my business and real estate ventures.  There is a world of difference between these views.

So, when I approached my bank with my plans they matter-of-factly told me there was nothing they could do to help me. Really? Nothing!?  Honestly, this pissed me off!  I left and drove to three other banks, two of which were willing to help and one who was actually eager to help.  I decided to transfer my accounts to the one who was willing to help me.   Maybe I’m old school, but I still believe a bank should do the traditional work of banks, collect deposits and loan money.  All the other activity that some of the larger institutions become involved with benefits neither you nor me.  I feel better about being with a bank who focuses on the basics and where I’m not just a credit score and doing business with an organization that actually wants to meet its customers needs.  Perhaps bail out money has allowed some of these larger banks to forget basic business principles…

On a side note, the experience wasn’t totally bad.  I ended up getting what I needed and was able to find an error on my credit report.  Three years ago I paid off my student loans in full, however a balance in the sum of $22k was still showing up on my credit report.  I contacted the student loan server and they confirmed that I had paid the loans off and would make the changes and report it to the credit bureaus.  For three years that balance was showing up even after it had been paid.  I guess it really does make sense to check your report occasionally for errors.

 

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6 thoughts on “Why I Fired My Bank

  1. Stoic,

    I love your intro!
    Hopefully you are not talking about WFC since I just started investing in them, part of that because of their closeness to customers.
    However, I also had that kind of experience with my local bank here and am in the middle of changing it as well. Congrats for your corollary action.
    Nice, plain layout by the way.

    • Thanks for stopping by and the compliments on the layout of the blog. I’ve had readers say they like it and others say it needs more imagery. I started this blog back in 2012, influenced by http://www.dividenmantra.com, but also the minimalist style of http://www.missminimalist.com and http://www.zenhabits.net. I’ve thought of dressing it up a little, but I’m still partial to the plain layout.

      You’re in luck, it’s not WFC. Hopefully I won’t run into problems with the new local bank. Like most things, time will tell…

  2. I had a similar experience with a big bank and ended up moving all of my banking to ING and then later to a local credit union. They gave me a great credit card, as well as an auto loan and were really helpful at getting a mortgage going. I also love that I feel like they value my business. I get a Christmas card from them most years, signed by all the people who work in the branch 🙂

    • Kudos to you for moving your business! Sometimes it’s easier just to stay put, especially when it comes to banking, but I think we all have a tipping point that pushes us over the edge.

      Glad you get the feeling they value your business, but isn’t that how all transactions with business should make us feel? Sad that we view it as the exception to the rule when it should be the rule of every business to make its customers feel valued.

  3. You made the process sound easy. I am still dealing with the pain in the ass withdrawals from trying to combine bank accounts with my wife!! My guess, is that you don’t have a lot being drawn on the account I guess?

    • For me it was a relatively easy process. It’s just me and yes, there wasn’t much set on automatic withdrawal. I took a month and gradually switched everything over then closed the account. That may have been why it was stress free as well. I didn’t do it all at once. I can see where having a combined account and a lot of automatic withdrawals to transfer over would make it a little more complicated. Hope you get it smoothed out soon.

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